Information about the ABS International Forum and Network and the work they are undertaking.

The ABS International Forum was set up in 2017.  Its aims are:

  • To meet the charitable goals of the Association
  • To raise the profile of ABS internationally by forming relationships with overseas groups and individual practitioners
  • To reach out to help low and middle income countries in their fight against breast cancer
  • To provide an opportunity for ABS members to assist with projects and teaching in low and middle income countries

If you have a query about the ABS International Forum please contact or 020 7869 6853


The ABS has partnered with the United Bulawayo Hospitals to deliver a project funded by the Tropical Health and Education Trust to identify challenges in breast cancer investigations and diagnosis, and to develop a training course to build capacity in specialist care.  Dick Rainsbury writes about this in the latest THET blog

ABS Overseas Courses in 2019

In 2019 the ABS ran its first overseas breast course in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  A faculty of 8 ran a 3 day course at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

To read a report of the Bulawayo course please click here

A second group of ABS members travelled to Nairobi and ran a 3 day course involving cadaveric dissection before participating in a 2 day symposium.  

To read a report of the Nairobi course please click here

Future Faculty for ABS Courses

If you are interested in being involved in a future ABS overseas course please contact Lucy Davies at for further information

Tropical Health and Education Trust

In 2019 the ABS applied to THET for a start-up grant and were one of the 7 successful applicants.  The grant is for the ABS to work with its partners in United Bulawayo Hospitals to deliver an in-depth needs analysis report to look at tackling the poor breast cancer outcomes in Sub Saharan African (SSA).  United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) are setting up one of the first specialist breast services in SSA. The project aims to:

  • Develop a template for a specialty breast service incorporating skills transfer, training and mentoring
  • Focus initially on hospital-based medical and nursing care, accelerating patient access to high quality specialist breast surgery and multidisciplinary management
  • Prioritise didactic/interactive needs-based teaching, integrating evaluation and assessment

The long-term goal is to improve the lives of women in Zimbabwe by raising breast awareness, driving earlier diagnosis, quicker referral and faster access to skilled multidisciplinary breast cancer care.

The project runs for a year and further information will appear on the website in due course

The ABS has established a number of networks to enable members to receive information about topics that are of particular interest to them.

The ABS International Network aims to keep members up to date with the work of the ABS International Forum, the projects being undertaken and the opportunities for members to get involved

To join the International Network please e-mail 

International Network Newsletters

To read the August 2019 newsletter please click here 

To read the July 2020 newsletter please click here 

To read the March 2021 newsletter please click here 

In recent years the ABS has offered fellowships to healthcare professionals from overseas to come to the UK to attend the ABS Conference and also undertake an observership in a UK breast unit. 

You can read reports by a number of recent fellows here:

Dr Tashi Dendup Wangi, Bhutan

Dr Munyaradzi Magara, Zimbabwe

Dr Rose Alenyo, Uganda

An annual bursary is made available to a successful candidate from or in Sub-Saharan Africa to undertake the Masters (MS/MCh) programme in Principles of Breast Oncoplasty.  The aim of this bursary is to promote and develop excellence in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery in territories experiencing greatest need in this surgical specialism.  This premier online course provides an excellent learning solution and credentials to the successful candidate surgeon in Sub-Saharan Africa for whom a better understanding of remedial surgical options would make a significant difference to the patients they treat presenting with breast cancer.  The course provides an online breast workshop and (optional) UK-based face to face cadaveric course at the Norwich Medical School.  Normally spare places on the Oncoplastic Cadaveric course would be offered at an additional cost to MCh Breast Oncoplasty students, however, should a spare place remain once normal demand has been satisfied, then it will offered for free to the successful bursary candidate, should they wish to attend.


 The ABS Sub Saharan Africa Breast Oncoplasty Bursary will be awarded annually for the successful candidate meeting the criteria specified below: 

  1. Applicants must be from or work in a country in sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. The bursary will fully fund a single student on the Principles of Breast Oncoplasty course.
  3. There is no cash equivalent to this bursary
  4. The candidate must meet the minimum entry requirements as laid out on the UEA website 
  5. The committee will select the candidate whom they believe would be best able to make a contribution to oncoplastic breast surgery knowledge and expertise in sub-Saharan Africa
  6. This Bursary will be awarded by the Prize Committee and the candidate notified officially by email or telephone.
  7. The Bursary Committee will consider at least two students for the Bursary before making a decision.
  8. The successful candidate will be written to by the Bursary Committee and asked to apply to the course through the normal UEA application process.
  9. The UEA’s Norwich Medical School agrees to waive the tuition fee for 6 modules and Dissertation required to lead to the Masters qualification.
  10. The successful student will be treated in accordance with the UEA's normal process including recognising and awarding a sub-level of qualification where achieved by the student, should he or she be unable to complete the MCh.
  11. Should the student wish to attend the (cadaveric) course at UEA, where scheduled and subject to availability, accommodation on the university campus can be arranged for free however flights or other travel costs to the UK will not be covered.

How to apply

To apply please send a brief (3 page) CV and a personal statement of no more than 400 words telling us why you should be chosen and including the names of two referees. The application process is now open for a candidate to join the programme in May 2022.  Please submit your applications by Monday 21st February 2022 to Margarita Bartholomew at

Bursary Winners:

2019  Dr Bahaty Riogi – Kenya

2020  Dr Munyaradzi Magara – Zimbabwe

2021  Dr Abdulrazzaq Lawal  - Nigeria

Further information

You can download a course flyer here or email for further information.


Rajiv Dave, a Consultant Breast Surgeon and ABS member, is selling his wildlife painting and photography for charity, with the profits going to Prevent Breast Cancer and the Association of Breast Surgery International Forum.  To view Rajiv’s website please click here

The Royal College of Surgeons of England's International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) enables a limited numer of overseas surgeons to undertake specialist clinical training in the UK NHS for a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of 2 years.  For more information about the scheme see the RCS website.

To read about Bahaty Riogi, a previous trainee's, experience of the ISTP please click here

A number of ABS members are undertaking teaching, training and other projects in low and middle income countries.  You can read a number of reports about their experiences here:

Development of Breast Cancer Services in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt)

Read a report by Jane Macaskill (Breast Surgeon in Dundee) about her work with the charity, Medical Aid for Palestine, here

Setting up a triple assessment clinic in Malawi

Read a report by Briony Ackroyd-Parkin about developing a quality breast service in Malawi here

Breast Health Education in Nigeria

Read a report by Georgette Oni (Plastic Surgeon in Nottingham) about running a breast health awareness day and flap transfer and microsurgery course in Nigeria here

UK AIIMS Cadaveric Breast Reconstruction Course, India

Read a report by Sankaran Narayanan (Breast Surgeon in Stoke) about the 2019 course in New Delhi here

Denise Coates, who kindly fundraises for the ABS International Forum, has written a short memoire/ self help guide, “Conquering Cancer Together”.  The book will be published on the 28th February and will be available from all good book stores and as an e-book.  Part of the proceeds of the book will go to the ABS International Forum.