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Safe anaesthesia in the South Asian Region: Reflections on safety at the SAARC-AA Congress

yimg vw0TL8 640x328The 12th SAARC-AA (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation- Association of Anaesthesiologists) Congress was hosted by the College of Anaesthesiologists & Intensivists of Sri Lanka, from 22nd to 26th February. The session on “Safety Issues in SAARC Region” was chaired by Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, President Elect of the WFSA and opened with a presentation from Dr K. Indraratna, President of College of Anaesthesiologists and Intensivists of Sri Lanka. Interestingly, many of the topics Dr Indraratna raised during his presentation were echoed by the other speakers from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

He explained that the key factor affecting anaesthetic patient safety in Sri Lanka was lack of human resources. The College of Anaesthesiologists of Sri Lanka have tried to tackle some of these issues by looking at the staffing needs of the country in future, and developing a plan to have 315 consultants by 2025. Dr BB Mishra, President of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists, echoed Dr Indraratna’s comments highlighting the shortage of qualified anaesthesiologists in India, particularly as most providers are working in urban areas, leaving many rural areas without adequate anaesthesia care.

Dr M. Hamid, Associate Professor of Anaesthesiology at Aga Khan University, explained that the trained anaesthetic manpower in Pakistan has not kept pace with surgical manpower. According to the 2012 National Health Facility Assessment Report many District Headquarter Hospitals either have a single anaesthetist catering to the full surgical workload (42%) or no anaesthetists (44%). Only 14% hospitals had two or more anaesthetists.

IMG 20170225 121006 01 1Similarly, the representatives from India and Bangladesh explained that these workforce shortages are particularly challenging in rural settings, with urban/rural divides existing. Professor D Banik, from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujeeb Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh, touched on the role of Bangladesh government who are trying to increase numbers of providers and to provide anaesthesia services in rural areas by giving training of 6-12 months, which is only an interim solution. A rough estimate given was that 600,000-700,000 surgical procedures annually result in around 300-400 deaths and 6,000-8,000 complications per year. He added that the high workload of anaesthetists, and their low remuneration, was also a problem that must be addressed.

Other issues highlighted at the event were the unavailability of essential equipment and medicines, equipment failures, unavailability of technical support, drug errors, overburdened health care systems, out of hour’s surgery, and a lack of uniform standard guidelines and safety standards.

However, to improve these issues, and issues relating to fatigue due to overwork, Dr M. Hamid emphasized the need to develop a culture of safety. Professor Resham Rana from Nepal also discussed improvements needed in monitoring and supervision, within this culture of safety, as well as improving team communications, improving quality processes, frequent peer reviews, enhancing knowledge and skills, maintaining records and statistics of anaesthesia services and focusing on the training of anaesthesia assistants. Recommendations from other speakers included implementing health policy system changes to tackle issues, encouraging young doctors to choose anaesthesiology as a speciality and better remuneration for physician anaesthesiologists.

The session was followed by a lively discussion which was valuable in highlighting the similar issues faced across South Asia. Many of the problems related anaesthesia safety in this region are common, and apart from learning from each other, these conferences are an opportunity to take things forward. A “Safety Group” was proposed in the Executive Committee meeting of SAARC-AA with the goal of creating common strategies to tackle these issues at regional level, and so safety is at the heart of the work SAARC-AA will be undertaking in the near future.

Photo: WFSA Baxter Scholars and Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, WFSA President-Elect, at the 12th SAARC-AA Conference.

Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE)

SAFE LogoSafer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) is a joint project developed in 2007 by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland (AAGBI) and the WFSA. The training initiative aims to bring practitioners of obstetric and paediatric anaesthesia (who throughout the world may be physician anaesthesiologists but are largely non-physicians) to a level of practice whereby they can deliver vigilant, competent, and safe anaesthesia. The underlying principle is to equip anaesthetists with the essential knowledge and skills so they can deliver safe care to their patients, even in very low resource settings, and to train as many anaesthesia providers as possible in each country in order to create a sustainable training model which can be embedded in the national health system.

SAFE courses have also previously been run by Mercy Ships, VSO, CASIEF, and Smile Train.

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SAFE Paediatrics

The SAFE Paediatric Anaesthesia course is a three-day course which aims to provide refresher training in the essentials of paediatric anaesthesia which emphasises the principles of safe care for children, in particular, assessment, vigilance and competence in essential skills.

The course was written by paediatric anaesthetists with relevant experience, and includes sessions on anaesthesia for common elective and emergency conditions in children, pain management, fluid resuscitation, newborn and paediatric life support and paediatric trauma management. Each course participant receives a detailed course manual and logbook to take away and continue to use as a reference. 

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SAFE Obstetrics

SAFE Obs is a three-day training course aimed at both physician and non-physician anaesthetic providers in LMICs. The course addresses the core and extended roles of the anaesthetist in obstetric emergencies, with clinical scenarios based on the conditions causing 80% of maternal deaths: haemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, obstructed labour, the complications of abortion and complications of anaesthesia and also covers early newborn care including resuscitation. As with the Paediatrics course, each participant receives a detailed course manual and logbook to take away and continue to use as a reference.

SAFE courses in obstetrics and paediatrics have now been delivered in 24 countries with excellent results. For more information about individual courses, please click here to visit the AAGBI's SAFE page.

We have recently run courses in Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, and Ethiopia with support from the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) in coordination with the AAGBI. Additionally, we are providing ongoing SAFE Obs training in Tanzania, Zambia, Nepal, and Bangladesh with support from the Laerdal Foundation.

Obituary: Dr Juan Enrique Köster Jahnsen

Dr Koster 2The WFSA was extremely saddened to hear of the recent passing of Dr Juan Enrique Köster Jahnsen.

Dr. Juan Köster was born on March 13th of 1921 in Mollendo Arequipa, Peru. He studied medicine at San Marcos National University in Lima, doctoring in 1953 with the thesis "Anesthesia in Cesarean sections: effects on the mother and the newborn". This paper were done at Lozada Clinic under the supervision of Dr. Gerardo Lozada Murillo, Dr. Félix García Mayor and Dr. Aldo Raffo Uzátegui (physician who did the postgraduate course in anesthesiology in Buenos Aires, Argentina). Subsequently, Köster presented this thesis to the Pediatrics’ Congress in Tacna, Peru, obtaining excellent comments.

On August 19th of 1953 he assimilated to the Peruvian Air Force with the degree of Medical Captain, the next year he traveled to the U.S, attending to the following hospitals: King County Hospital of Seattle, Washington with Professor Henry Harkins; Bird Institute of Palm Springs, California with Professor Forrest M. Bird and Dessert Hospital with Professors Raymond H. Ten Pass and Allan Fisher. On returning, he continued working at Lozada Clinic with the mentioned anesthesiologist Dr. Raffo Uzátegui, an important reference of the specialty.

On February 16th of 1954, physicians and medical students met at Lozada Clinic to found the Peruvian Society of Anesthesia, which will later be called the Peruvian Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Reanimation (SPAAR).In this meeting were six anesthesiologists: Dr. Luis Bouroncle, Dr. Salvador Descalzi, Dr. Pedro Carlín, Dr. Juan E. Köster Jahnsen, Dr. Aldo Raffo Uzátegui and Dr. Andrés Callegari Morin.

Between 1958 and 1971 Dr. Köster worked at the anesthesia department of the recently inaugurated Military Central Hospital. He was president of the Peruvian Society of Anesthesiology: 1964-1966 and later on 1980-1981. He was also President of the Organizing Committee of the Third Peruvian Congress of Anesthesiology and General Secretary of C.L.A.S.A. ( 1969-1971). On June 9th of 1971, he was appointed Chief of the Anesthesiology Service of the Central Aeronautics Hospital and the following year, he was made Sub-Director of this facility. He was later promoted to the position of Director of the Health Department of the Peruvian Air Force. He retired on March 13th of 1982. During his stay in the Air Force was decorated with the "Peruvian Cross to Aeronautical Merit." Addtionally, Dr Köster was a Founding Partner of the Peruvian Society of Intensive Care on July 6th of, 1979. On November 3 of 1999, the Executive Committee of C.L.A.S.A. gave him a diploma and a medal, in recognition of his outstanding work as Secretary General (later renamed President) of that institution.

The CLASA congress in Lima 2015 honoured him as a great promotor and teacher of the Latinamerican Anesthesiology.

He passed away in June 2017, accompanied by the love of his famiy and friends.

--

El doctor Juan Köster nació el 13 de marzo de 1921 en Mollendo, Arequipa, Perú. Estudió medicina en la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, doctorándose en 1953 con la tesis “La anestesia en cesáreas, efectos sobre la madre y el recién nacido”, trabajo realizado en la Clínica Lozada bajo la supervisión de los doctores Gerardo Lozada Murillo, Félix García Mayor y Aldo Raffo Uzátegui (médico que practicaba la especialidad, luego de realizar un curso de postgrado en anestesiología en Buenos Aires). Posteriormente, Köster presentó su trabajo de tesis a un Congreso de Pediatría realizado en Tacna, Perú, obteniendo elogiosos comentarios.

El 19 de agosto de 1953 se asimiló a la Fuerza Aérea con el grado de Capitán Médico. En enero de 1954 viajó a los EE. UU. concurriendo a los siguientes hospitales: King County Hospital de Seattle, Washington, con el profesor Henry Harkins; Bird Institute, Palm Springs, California con el profesor Forrest M. Bird y al Dessert Hospital con los profesores Raymond H. Ten Pass y Allan Fisher. De regreso continuó trabajando en la Clínica Lozada con el mencionado anestesiólogo doctor Raffo Uzátegui, importante referente de la especialidad.

El 16 de febrero de 1954 se reunieron en la mencionada clínica, médicos y estudiantes de medicina para fundar la Sociedad Peruana de Anestesia, que luego se llamará Sociedad Peruana de Anestesia, Analgesia y Reanimación (SPAAR). Entre los presentes se encontraban seis anestesiólogos: los doctores Luis Bouroncle, Salvador Descalzi, Pedro Carlín, Juan E. Köster Jahnsen, Aldo Raffo Uzátegui y Andrés Callegari Morin.

Entre los años 1958 y 1971 se desempeñó en el servicio de anestesia del recién inaugurado Hospital Militar Central. Presidente de la Sociedad Peruana de Anestesiología: 1964-1966 y luego en 1980-1981. Presidente del Comité Organizador del Tercer Congreso Peruano de Anestesiología. Secretario General de la C.L.A.S.A. Período 1969-1971. Fue el segundo secretario general. El 9 de junio de 1971 fue nombrado jefe del servicio de Anestesiología del Hospital Central de Aeronáutica y al año siguiente subdirector. Posteriormente fue ascendido al cargo de Director de Sanidad de la Fuerza Aérea. Pasó a retiro el 13 de marzo de 1982. Durante su permanencia en la Fuerza Aérea fue condecorado con la “Cruz Peruana al Mérito Aeronáutico”. Socio Fundador de la Sociedad Peruana de Terapia Intensiva, 6 de julio de 1979. El 3 de noviembre de 1999 el Comité Ejecutivo de la C.L.A.S.A. le entregó un diploma y una medalla, como reconocimiento a su relevante labor como Secretario General (luego se cambió la denominación por Presidente) de esa institución.

El congreso CLASA en Lima 2015 tuvo su nombre como sentido homenaje a un grande de la Anestesiología Latinoamericana.

Falleció en Junio del 2017 rodeado del cariño de su familia y amigos.

Applications now open: WFSA Cardiac/Neuroanaesthesia 2017 Fellowship at Cairo University Hospital, Egypt

Applications are invited for a Cardiac and Neuroanaesthesia fellowship training positions at Cairo University Hospital, Egypt.

Cairo University is the oldest university in Egypt, it is the largest medical centre in the Middle East. The university hospital includes 6000 beds, 120 operating rooms and 500 ICU beds.

The duration of the fellowship is 6 months. The start date is expected to be 1 November 2017. The cardiac anaesthesia programme head is Professor Aiman Dessouki and the Neuroanaesthesia programme head is the Assistant Professor Safinaz Osman.

The fellowship is intended for fully qualified anaesthesiologists working in low resource settings who wish to develop knowledge and skills in the field of intensive care medicine. Priority will be given to applicants from African or Middle Eastern countries.

Applicants should fit the following criteria:

  • Must be supported in their application by their own national anaesthetic society
  • Must be supported in their application by the chief / head of their home department
  • Must be returning to their home country to a recognized post
  • Should be under 40 years of age
  • Should preferably be working in a teaching hospital.

The fellowship offers funding for tuition costs, accommodation and subsistence living expenses.

For more information, please contact Dr Yehia Khater at yhkhater@gmail.com

How to apply:

The deadline for applications is the 30th June 2017. In order to apply please use our online application system here to complete an application form and upload the following documents.

• Curriculum vitae with one recent photo and the names of two referees
• Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s national anaesthesiology society
• Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s head of department or hospital management
• Copy of medical degree
• Copy of specialist anaesthesiology qualification
• Copy of photograph page of Passport

Applications will be considered by a panel of anaesthesiologists selected by WFSA, and successful applicants will be informed before the end of July 2017.

Successful applicants must confirm their intention to take up the scholarship within 2 days of notification. Failure to do so will result in the scholarship being offered to the next applicant.

Applications Open: WFSA Cardiac Anaesthesia Fellowship at Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences (NICS), Bangalore, India, 2018

Applications are invited for two cardiac anaesthesia fellowship training positions at Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences (NICS), Bangalore, India.

The fellowships will start on 1 January 2018 and the duration of training is 12 months.

Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences (NICS) under the 'Narayana Health' brand, is one of the largest heart hospitals in the world. NICS is committed to providing affordable quality health care to the masses. In addition to provision of clinical services, NICS is actively involved in education and research and has trained several young physicians at post-graduate and post-doctoral level.

The fellowship is intended for anaesthesiologists working in low resource settings in Asia or Africa who wish to develop knowledge and skills in the field of cardiac anaesthesia.

Applicants should fit the following criteria:

• Must be supported in their application by their own national anaesthesiology society

• Must be supported in their application by the chief / head of their home department

• Must be returning to their home country to a recognized post

• Should preferably be working in a teaching hospital

Fellows will receive a stipend from NICS to cover accommodation and living expenses.

The WFSA will provide funding to cover the cost of return travel from the fellow's home country to Bangalore, India.

The successful applicants will be required to register with the Medical Council of India and obtain medical insurance covering the duration of the fellowship.

For more information, please contact the programme head, Dr Muralidhar Kanchi (muralidhar.kanchi.dr@nhhospitals.org)

How to apply:

The deadline for applications is the 27th June 2017. In order to apply please use our online application system here to complete an application form and upload the following documents.

• Curriculum vitae with one recent photo and the names of two referees

• Letter of recommendation from the applicant's national anaesthesiology society

• Letter of recommendation from the applicant's head of department or hospital management

• Copy of medical degree

• Copy of photograph page of passport

• Copy of specialist anaesthetic qualification

Applications will be considered by a panel of anaesthesiologists selected by WFSA, and successful applicants will be informed before the end of July 2017.

Successful applicants must confirm their intention to take up the scholarship within 2 days of notification. Failure to do so will result in the scholarship being offered to the next applicant.

Applications now open: WFSA Regional Anaesthesia Clinical Attachment at KATH, Kumasi, Ghana

Applications are invited for two 3-month Regional Anaesthesia clinical attachments at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana. The attachments are intended to provide an introduction to the basic principles, techniques, limitations and complications of commonly used US-guided Regional Anaesthesia techniques.

The planned start dates of the attachments are 1 September & 1 December 2017.

KATH is situated in the Ashanti Region and is the second-largest hospital in Ghana. It has 1000 beds and is accredited for training by the West African College of Surgeons.

The attachment is intended for an African anaesthesiologist working in a low resource setting who would like an introduction to the practice of Regional Anaesthesia. Applicants must be eligible for medical registration in Ghana. Local anaesthesiologists, possibly supplemented by visiting clinicians, will provide clinical supervision and teaching.

Applicants should fit the following criteria:

• Must be supported in their application by their own national anaesthetic society

• Must be supported in their application by the chief/head of their home department

• Must be returning to their home country to a recognized post

• Preference will given to applicants under 40 years of age

• Should preferably be working in a teaching hospital.

The WFSA will provide funding for travel, accommodation and subsistence living expenses.

For more information, please contact the Programme Head, Dr Akwasi Antwi-Kusi (antwikusi@yahoo.com)

How to apply:

The deadline for applications is the 12th July 2017. In order to apply please use our online application system here to complete an application form and upload the following documents.

• Curriculum vitae with one recent photo and the names of two referees

• Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s national anaesthesiology society

• Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s head of department or hospital management

• Copy of medical degree

• Copy of specialist anaesthesiology qualification

• Copy of photograph page of Passport

Applications will be considered by a panel of anaesthesiologists selected by WFSA, and successful applicants will be informed by mid-August 2017.

Successful applicants must confirm their intention to take up the scholarship within 2 days of notification. Failure to do so will result in the scholarship being offered to the next applicant.

Applications now open: 2018 WFSA New Delhi Thoracic Anaesthesia Fellowship

Applications are invited for two thoracic anaesthesia fellowship positions at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi, India.

The anticipated start dates of the fellowship are January and July 2018 and the duration of training will be six months. The main aim of the fellowship is to provide training in thoracic anaesthesia, but there will also be opportunities to get experience in cardiac anaesthesia and cardiothoracic intensive care.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is a 675-bedded superspecialty hospital situated in New Delhi, India. It has been running postgraduate training (DNB) in a range of specialties since 1988. The Department of Anaesthesia started its DNB (Anaesthesia) programme in 1991 and five students are enrolled each year. The department also provides specialised training in cardiothoracic anaesthesia, transplant anaesthesia (renal and liver) and pain management.

The fellowship is intended for a young anaesthesiologist working in a low resource setting in Asia or Africa.

Applicants should fit the following criteria:

• Must be supported in their application by their own national anaesthesiology society
• Must be supported in their application by the chief / head of their home department
• Must be returning to their home country to a recognized post
• Should preferably be working in a teaching hospital

The fellow will receive accommodation and a modest stipend from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. The WFSA will provide funding to cover the cost of return travel from the fellow's home country to New Delhi, India.
The successful applicant will be required to apply for temporary registration with the Medical Council of India during the training period and obtain medical insurance covering the duration of the fellowship.
For more information, please contact the programme head, Professor Jayashree Sood (jayashreesood@hotmail.com).


How to apply:

The closing date for applications is 15th June 2017. Successful applicants will be notified before the end of July 2017.
Applicants must complete the Fellowship Application Form and provide all the documents listed at the end of the form:

• Curriculum vitae with one recent photo and the names of two referees
• Letter of recommendation from the applicant's national anaesthesiology society
• Letter of recommendation from the applicant's head of department or hospital management
• Copy of medical degree

• Copy of specialist anaesthetic qualification

• Copy of photograph page of passport

Please complete your application online using the link below:

https://wfsagrants.awardsplatform.com/

Applications Open: WFSA Regional Anaesthesia Fellowship, Ganga Hospital, India 2018

Applications are invited for four fellowship training positions at Ganga Medical Centre & Hospital, Coimbatore, India.

The duration oftraining is 6 months. Two fellowships will start on the 1 January 2018 and two will start on the 1 July 2018.

Ganga Hospital (www.gangahospital.com) is a 475-bedded tertiary care referral centre for orthopaedic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, spine and facio-maxillary surgery. It is a busy institution with 20 operating theatres.
The Department of Anaesthesiology specialises in practising and teaching Regional Anaesthesia. The department is equipped with peripheral nerve stimulators and six dedicated ultrasound machines for administering regional blocks. The trainees will have an orientation month followed by five months of clinical responsibility.

The fellowships are intended for anaesthesiologists working in low resource settings in Asia or Africa who wish to develop knowledge and skills in the field of regional anaesthesia and analgesia.

Applicants should fit the following criteria:

• Must be supported in their application by their own national anaesthesiology society
• Must be supported in their application by the chief / head of their home department
• Must be returning to their home country to a recognized post
• Should preferably be working in a teaching hospital
• Preference will be given to younger anaesthesiologists working in Asia or Africa

Fellows will receive a stipend from Ganga Hospital to cover accommodation and living expenses.
The WFSA will provide funding to cover the cost of return travel from the fellow's home country to Coimbatore, India.
The successful applicants will be required to register with the Medical Council of India and obtain medical insurance covering the duration of the fellowship.
For more information, please contact the programme head, Dr Balavenkat Subramanian (drbalavenkat@gmail.com).

How to apply:

The closing date for applications is 15th June 2017 Successful applicants will be notified before the end of July 2017.

Applicants must complete the Fellowship Application Form and provide all the documents listed at the end of the form:

• Curriculum vitae with one recent photo and the names of two referees
• Letter of recommendation from the applicant's national anaesthesiology society
• Letter of recommendation from the applicant's head of department or hospital management
• Copy of medical degree
• Copy of photograph page of passport
• Copy of specialist anaesthetic qualification

Please complete and online application form using the link below:

https://wfsagrants.awardsplatform.com/

Dr Alan Jay Schwartz named new Editor-in-Chief of Update in Anaesthesia (UIA)

2010 11 15 10.15.31The WFSA is delighted to announce that Dr Alan Jay Schwartz has been appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of Update in Anaesthesia (UIA). Dr Schwartz is succeeding Dr Bruce McCormick, who has been such an outstanding champion of the journal over the past ten years.

Alan Jay Schwartz, MD, MSEd is Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a Senior Anesthesiologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, providing anaesthesia care to all types of paediatric patients. His clinical practice included adult and paediatric cardiac anaesthesia, and he has provided and taught anaesthesia patient care in Guatemala, China, Israel and Mexico. He served as President of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists.

Dr Schwartz’s editorial accomplishments include Editor-in- Chief of the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Self Education and Evaluation Program and Refresher Course Publication, Associate Editor of ANESTHESIOLOGYand Editor-in-Chief Anesthesia and Analgesia Case Reports. Academically, Dr Schwartz is the author of >230 reviews, editorials, letters, chapters and commentary. He is also a Diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiology with additional subspecialty certification in Pediatric Anesthesiology.

Dr Schwartz’s awards and honours include membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Leonard Berwick Memorial and Christian R and Mary F Lindback Awards for Distinguished Teaching and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists Distinguished Service Award.

We would like to congratulate Dr Schwartz on his appointment and look forward to UIA advancing under his leadership.

WFSA Releases Position Statement on Anaesthesiology and Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

WCA16 0131 SThe WFSA is pleased to announce the publication of our official Position Statement on Anaesthesiology and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The statement was approved unanimously by Extraordinary Resolution of WFSA's General Assembly.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is defined as access to quality essential health-care services and to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all, with financial risk protection. UHC is essential in closing the gap in access to healthcare, and the quality of healthcare, that exists around the world, impacting billions of people.

The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery recently found that 5 billion of the world’s 7 billion population are without access to safe and affordable surgical care and anaesthesia when needed. This crisis must be addressed in order to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3 which aims to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030. The Position Statement explains that:

“There is an urgent need to address deficiencies in access to safe anaesthesia care. An additional 1.27 million surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia providers will be required by 2030 to achieve Universal Health Coverage. In many countries, particularly those with limited resources, anaesthesia is associated with unacceptably high mortality rates. Training and ongoing maintenance of standards are essential for increasing the number of providers and increasing the safety of anaesthesia for patients worldwide.”

Indeed, increasing the anaesthesia workforce is essential to achieving UHC. A lack of human resources in the health sector, and particularly a deficit in the surgery and anaesthesia workforce, means that safe adequate care cannot be provided for the neglected surgical patient. The UHC Position Statement seeks to explain and address this issue:

“In some countries, the anaesthesia need will be met by training anaesthesiologists. In other countries, especially those with limited resources, the need may, in part, be met by training non-anaesthesiologist providers.”

Non-physician anaesthesia providers are recognised as an essential element in scaling up the provision of safe anaesthesia, but the WFSA is clear that all providers must be led or overseen by a physician anaesthesiologist. The statement highlights:

“Anaesthesia is complex and potentially hazardous, and optimal patient care depends on anaesthesia being provided, led or overseen by an anaesthesiologist. The WFSA recognises that effective teamwork is a vital component of patient safety.”

The WFSA, as the only organisation to unite anaesthesiologists from more than 150 countries, is committed to taking the lead in working to achieve universal access to safe anaesthesia.

If you would like to read the full statement please click here.

ICRC publishes Anaesthesia Handbook - with the support of the ICRC/WFSA Liaison Group

Thanks to the outstanding work of Peter Mahoney and his team the ICRC have published their Anaesthesia Handbook which provides invaluable guidance for anaesthesia in austere environments.

The WFSA is very proud to have been able to contribute to the handbook and acknowledges the work of the ICRC/WFSA Liaison Group in making this possible. Download your copy by clicking on the picture below.

ICRC Handbook cover

The ICRC-WFSA Liaison Group is led by Dr Eric Vreede with Dr Christina Bartulec, Dr Philip Blum, Dr Rachael Craven, Dr Antoine Kabeza, Dr Francoise Labat and Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen.

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