COVID resources banner WCA2021 baner logo 2
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French German Spanish

Statement on Universal Health Coverage for WHA73

WHA statement gelbIn line with WFSA's position as a non-State actor in official relations with WHO, the WFSA board have submitted the following statement under the 73rd World Health Assembly Agenda item 11.2 Follow-up to the high-level meetings of the United Nations General Assembly on health-related issues. Statement to be delivered by Professor Adrian Gelb, President, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA).

Agenda Item 11.2: Universal health coverage: moving together to build a healthier world.

Anaesthesia and surgical care are central to a well-functioning health system, therefore essential if we are to realize UHC. This is highlighted by WHA Resolution: 68.15.

The indispensability of anaesthesiologists has been made even more apparent by their prominent and critical care role in the global response to COVID-19. And yet 5 out of 7 billion people still do not have access to safe, affordable and quality anaesthesia and surgical care.

To realise UHC WFSA believe that three areas require specific attention:

1.       Workforce. Many countries suffer from very low numbers of trained anaesthesia providers. A coordinated response is required to increase anesthesia workforce capacity.

2.       Standards. The WFSA recommends the adoption of WHO-WFSA International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia, which provide a framework for safe and quality anaesthesia care.

3.       Planning. The WFSA supports the development of National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plans (NSOAPs). It is vital that anaesthesiologists are active participants in the development of these plans.

Further resources

 

UK parliamentary group convenes experts to discuss global anaesthesia

Leading anaesthesia experts from around the globe convened for a special meeting of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health to mark World Anaesthesia Day on 16 October.

With the title of ‘Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) – How to reach the missing 5 billion’ the meeting brought together policy makers and practitioners to discuss the role of anaesthesia in meeting global health targets. It also sought to highlight the impact of in-country training programmes such as SAFE in improving patient access to vital health services.  

recording of the APPG webinar
Click on image to access a recording of the APPG meeting 

 

The meeting was a collaboration between the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, WFSA and the Association of Anaesthetists of UK and Ireland. 

Speakers included practicing anaesthesiologists from Norway, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Zambia as well as programme and policy makers from WHO –AFRO, Zambia and Tanzania.  

With over 850 registrants drawn from 44 countries, the meeting was chaired by Lord Crisp the former Chief Executive of the UK National Health Service and chair of the APPG on Global health. He outlined to objectives of the meeting as an opportunity “to identify ways to support and create an enabling environment for a functioning health system through the strengthening of anaesthesia and surgery provision. ‘

 ‘This [meeting] is especially relevant in light of the considerable efforts and sacrifices that anaesthesiologists and other health professionals have made in the response to the COVID pandemic.  ‘

Lord Crisp continued by highlighting the importance of access to anaesthesia:

‘Despite nearly 170 years having passed since the first anaesthetic procedure and the necessity of it for effective surgery, research from the The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery  found that more than 5 billion people are without access to safe and affordable surgical care when needed.’

‘Additionally more than 30% of the Global Burden of Disease stems from conditions that could be treated through surgical intervention.’

‘The difficulty of accessing services and the anaesthesia workforce crisis are all important factors that will be covered in this meeting’

As a means to address the anaesthesia workforce needs-gap, WFSA and the Association developed the SAFE training programme. It is designed to equip obstetric and paediatric anaesthesia providers with the essential knowledge and skills to deliver safe care to their patients, even in very low resource settings. Since its launch in 2007, this anaesthesiologist-led SAFE training programme has provided practical in-country training to over 4,000 physician and non-physician providers in 45 countries. 

The meeting focused on SAFE as part of a holistic approach to strengthening anaesthesia provision in low-resource settings. This integrated approach includes supportive regional and national policy environments like those provided by WHO-AFRO and by countries such as Zambia; the availability of local medical training colleagues such as the College of Anaesthesiologists to the East Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA); and the provision of anaesthesiologists-led continued professional development programmes such as the SAFE obstetric and paediatric skills courses. 

Presentation snapshots

Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, a senior anaesthesiologist from Norway and immediate past-president of WFSA, provided a succinct overview of global anaesthesia, outlining the role that anaesthesia plays in enabling health systems and realising universal health coverage targets. She evidenced the shortage of anaesthesia provision and the impact that workforce strengthening approaches such as the SAFE training programme are having. (Presentation starts at min 6:00 in the webinar recording)
 
Prof Jean-marie Dangou, NCD Coordinator for WHO-AFRO, discussed the vital role that anaesthesia plays in health systems. 
'Well-functioning health systems respond in a balanced way to a population’s needs and expectations.  It is of paramount importance prioritizing essential surgery and safe anesthesia moving towards Universal Health Coverage.' 
'The vital role that anaesthesiologists play has been emphasized by the COVID 19 pandemic. Their numbers in sub-Saharan Africa are woeful.' (Min 15:00)
 
Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya, Tanzanian High Commissioner to Canada and president of both the Society of Anaesthesiologists of Tanzania (SATA) and the College of Anaesthesiologists to the East Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA), spoke about the work of CANECSA in educating the next generation of anaesthesia providers in Africa and also looked at the role that SAFE has played in strengthening anaesthesia training in Tanzania. (Min 22:00)
 
Dr Christopher Chanda, National Coordinator of Anaesthesia at the Ministry of Health in Zambia, spoke from his position as both a consultant paediatric anaesthesiologist and national coordinator for the ministry of health about how anaesthesia services are a core component of Zambia’s health system and the country’s efforts to increase coverage. (Min 32:50)
 
Dr Isabeau Walker, Foundation Trustee at the Association of Anaesthetists and a SAFE programme lead was joined by Dr Andrew Kintu, President of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Uganda and Dr Mary Nabukenya, a Ugandan paediatric anaesthesiologist to speak about anaesthesia services in Uganda and the role of SAFE training programmes in obstetric and paediatric anaesthesia in strengthening anaesthesia provision. (Min 42:30)
 

Leading anaesthesia experts from around the globe convened for a special meeting of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health to mark World Anaesthesia Day on 16 October.

 

With the title of ‘Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) – How to reach the missing 5 billion’ the meeting brought together policy makers and practitioners to discuss the role of anaesthesia in meeting global health targets. It also sought to highlight the impact of in-country training programmes such as SAFE in improving patient access to vital health services.

 

The meeting was a collaboration between the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, WFSA and the Association of Anaesthetists of UK and Ireland.

 

Speakers included practicing anaesthesiologists from Norway, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Zambia as well as programme and policy makers from WHO –AFRO, Zambia and Tanzania. 

 

With over 850 registrants drawn from 44 countries, the meeting was chaired by Lord Crisp the former Chief Executive of the UK National Health Service and chair of the APPG on Global health. He outlined to objectives of the meeting as an opportunity “to identify ways to support and create an enabling environment for a functioning health system through the strengthening of anaesthesia and surgery provision. ‘

 

‘This [meeting] is especially relevant in light of the considerable efforts and sacrifices that anaesthesiologists and other health professionals have made in the response to the COVID pandemic. 

 

Lord Crisp continued by highlighting the importance of access to anaesthesia:

 

‘Despite nearly 170 years having passed since the first anaesthetic procedure and the necessity of it for effective surgery, research from the The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery found that more than 5 billion people are without access to safe and affordable surgical care when needed.’

 

‘Additionally more than 30% of the Global Burden of Disease stems from conditions that could be treated through surgical intervention.’

 

‘The difficulty of accessing services and the anaesthesia workforce crisis are all important factors that will be covered in this meeting’

 

As a means to address the anaesthesia workforce needs-gap, WFSA and the Association developed the SAFE training programme. It is designed to equip obstetric and paediatric anaesthesia[HoD1] providers with the essential knowledge and skills to deliver safe care to their patients, even in very low resource settings. Since its launch in 2007, this anaesthesiologist-led SAFE training programme has provided practical in-country training to over 4,000 physician and non-physician providers in 45 countries.

 

The meeting focused on SAFE as part of a holistic approach to strengthening anaesthesia provision in low-resource settings. This integrated approach includes supportive regional and national policy environments like those provided by WHO-AFRO and by countries such as Zambia; the availability of local medical training colleagues such as the College of Anaesthesiologists to the East Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA); and the provision of anaesthesiologists-led continued professional development programmes such as the SAFE obstetric and paediatric skills courses.

 

Presentation snapshots

 

Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, a senior anaesthesiologist from Norway and immediate past-president of WFSA, provided a succinct overview of global anaesthesia, outlining the role that anaesthesia plays in enabling health systems and realising universal health coverage targets. She evidenced the shortage of anaesthesia provision and the impact that workforce strengthening approaches such as the SAFE training programme are having. (Presentation starts at min 6:00 in the webinar recording)

 

Prof Jean-marie Dangou, NCD Coordinator for WHO-AFRO, discussed the vital role that anaesthesia plays in health systems.

'Well-functioning health systems respond in a balanced way to a population’s needs and expectations.  It is of paramount importance prioritizing essential surgery and safe anesthesia moving towards Universal Health Coverage.'

'The vital role that anaesthesiologists play has been emphasized by the COVID 19 pandemic. Their numbers in sub-Saharan Africa are woeful. '(Min 15:00)

 

Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya, Tanzanian High Commissioner to Canada and president of both the Society of Anaesthesiologists of Tanzania (SATA) and the College of Anaesthesiologists to the East Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA), spoke about the work of CANECSA in educating the next generation of anaesthesia providers in Africa and also looked at the role that SAFE has played in strengthening anaesthesia training in Tanzania. (Min 22:00)

 

Dr Christopher Chanda, National Coordinator of Anaesthesia at the Ministry of Health in Zambia, spoke from his position as both a consultant paediatric anaesthesiologist and national coordinator for the ministry of health about how anaesthesia services are a core component of Zambia’s health system and the country’s efforts to increase coverage. (Min 32:50)

 

Dr Isabeau Walker, Foundation Trustee at the Association of Anaesthetists and a SAFE programme lead was joined by Dr Andrew Kintu, President of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Uganda and Dr Mary Nabukenya, a Ugandan paediatric anaesthesiologist to speak about anaesthesia services in Uganda and the role of SAFE training programmes in obstetric and paediatric anaesthesia in strengthening anaesthesia provision. (Min 42:30)


 [HoD1]Not OR as well?

Anaesthesia pioneer and former WFSA president Prof Otto Mayrhofer celebrates 100th birthday

Prof Otto MayrhoferInternationally renowned Austrian Anaesthesiologist, Prof Otto Mayrhofer turned 100 on Monday 2 November 2020. WFSA Council member, Prof Anna Spacek, caught up with him at his Vienna home to discuss the birth of anaesthesiology in Austria, his memories of the first World Congress of Anaesthesiologists and his time as the fifth WFSA President.

Prof Spacek found Prof Mayrhofer in good health and as intellectually quick and accurate as ever.

Prof Anna Spacek - What drew you to anaesthesiology in the first place?

Prof Otto Mayrhofer - I graduated in medicine in December 1944, having been able to continue my studies during the war. Initially, I wanted to be a surgeon and accepted an unpaid post at ViennaUniversity Surgical Department. As the most junior member of the surgical team I was tasked with providing anaesthesia. At that time there were two basic techniques, a regional technique with local anaesthesia or open drop ether. It was a further 4 months until I was actually allowed to hold any instruments and assist in surgical procedures. I soon realised that surgery could not advance with the poor forms of anaesthesia that were available.

Around this time, a contingent of American doctors visited Austria’s medical schools in Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck. Amongst their numbers was a New York surgeon, Prof Brunswig who was a thoracic specialist and worked alongside the anaesthesiologist, Prof Cullen. Given my good grasp of English I assisted Prof Cullen and became fascinated by the new endotracheal anaesthesia I was seeing.

At the same time the head of Department of Surgery, Prof Denk wanted to be the first to operate on the lung in Austria so he organised for me to build on this interest and undertake a 6 month anaesthesia training course in the UK. Using my newly learnt anaesthesia techniques I was part of the team that performed Austria’s first lung operation in 1948 at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus Hospital (AKH).

AS – How did the field of anaesthesiology grow in Austria?
OM – Together with around 40 interested colleagues, I helped found the Austrian Society of Anaesthesiology in 1951 and was voted in as its first President. The First Austrian Congress of Anaesthesiology was held 1952 in Salzburg and was attended by around 200 anaesthesiologists from German speaking countries and beyond. The Salzburg Congress was a milestone in the development of anaesthesiology in Central Europe with anaesthesiology being officially recognised in 1952 as a new and independent medical speciality in Austria. 1952 also saw the publication of the first issue of the “Der Anaesthesist” journal.

AS - What are your recollections of the 1st WFSA World Congress in 1955?
OM - In 1955, I presented, together with my co-authors Frey and Huegin, our new textbook of Anaesthesiology at the 1st World Congress of Anaesthesiologists at Scheveningen, in Holland. With around 300-500 participants travelling from the US, Canada, UK, Scandinavia and other Western European countries I was surprised how many countries were presented at the WCA. But unfortunately there was no-one from Eastern European or Italy.

AS – What was your role within WFSA
OM - By the 1st WCA the WFSA was well established. Initially, I had been on the Executive Committee for the first two congresses and then in 1964 at the Sao Paulo WCA, Prof Geoffrey Organe (UK) became President and I became Secretary and a Prof Henning Poulsen (Denmark) became Treasurer. At the 4th Congress in London, in 1968, I stayed as Secretary for a second term and Prof Francis Foldes (USA) became President. In Kyoto, Japan, the 5th Congress in 1972, I became President in an unopposed election by acclimation after a proposal by Foldes. The WFSA Executive were presented to the Japanese Crown Prince, the son of the Emperor before the start of the meeting.

AS - What was your greatest challenge and success as President?
OM - I was invited to Congresses all over the world and met an incredible number of people. In 1972, I was the first Visiting Professor to be invited to Australia from a non-English speaking country. A notable achievement was to expand WFSA membership to include the Chinese society and a number from Eastern European countries.

The Iron Curtain was a big problem; it was almost impossible for those behind the Curtain to travel to the West but Vienna provided an easier option for doctors from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania to attend meetings. In the 1960’s I provided training to Professor Jurczyk from Posen in Poland and welcomed a number of Drs from the University of Szeged in Hungary. The University later acknowledged this training by awarding me my first Honorary Doctorate when I was only 51 years old.

By the end of my Presidency the WFSA was now strong enough to support less affluent countries or regions to raise their standard of anaesthesia care. In my time, the creation of training centres in the Philippines and in Venezuela were very important in this regard.

AS - What advice would you offer to further the impact of WFSA's work?
OM – WFSA’s support has now expanded all over the world. It was very important. For example the Pulse oximetry was provided by WFSA to many under developed countries. My recommendation for the new WFSA board and members is to just keep on going, keep on pushing and keep assisting.


Apply now for bursaries to Euroanaesthesia 2020

Euroanaesthesia 2020WFSA has teamed up with the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) to offer bursaries to Euroanaesthesia 2020.

This year Euroanaesthesia will be a virtual congress entirely accessible online. To celebrate this amazing opportunity the WFSA has teamed up with the ESAIC to offer full bursaries to anaesthesiologists from low and lower middle income countries.

Over 3 days from 28 - 30 November Euroanaesthesia 2020 offers an outstanding programme full of cutting-edge innovations in basic and clinical science, innovation in clinical application, education, quality and patient safety.


Due to an exceptionally high response applications for bursaries to Euroanaesthesia 2020 have now closed. 

Bursaries will be  offered on a first come first served basis to existing eligible applicants, with 40 bursaries being prioritised for  applicants from Mongolia and the Pacific Islands thanks to additional support from the Australian Society of Anaesthetists https://asa.org.au/internationalengagement/

Campaign for occupational wellbeing on World Anaesthesia Day 16 October

WFSA are asking anaesthesiologists around the world on Friday 16 October to take part in our World Anaesthesia Day 2020 campaign to highlight the importance of occupational wellbeing to anaesthesia. We want the global anaesthesia family to come together to raise the profile of its wellbeing by sharing approaches for maintaining and improviding professional wellbeing; helping other anaesthesiologists to better care for themselves and their patients.

toolkit front page image

Download the WAD2020 toolkit

Descargue el kit de herramientas en español

Baixe o kit de ferramentas em português

Téléchargez la boîte à outils en français

What is the campaign about?

Anaesthesiologists experience high levels of occupational fatigue, burnout syndrome, chemical dependency, mental depression, suicidal ideation and more. 

There is a link between occupational health and patient safety, with occupational fatigue being one of the main factors in a high prevalence of crises.

We would like you to share your tips for occupational wellbeing, how you combat occupational fatigue, stress or anxiety at work. Successful organizational, professional, and personal interventions may dramatically enhance the health and well-being of anaesthesiologists and reduce their stress levels, depression and intentions to commit suicide.

It’s ok to consider your own wellbeing. We want you to tell us what you do to care for yourself and colleages. 

 

WFSA President's video message for WAD2020

Youtube WAD 2020 video

On the day - 16th October 2020

To take part in this campaign, simply download and print off the poster. Fill it in with the name of your country, and the actions you take to look after you and your colleagues occupational welll being. Take a video or photo of you and your team that illustrates your commitment to wellbeing. Then share this video or photo with us on social media using the hashtag #WorldAnaesthesiaDay and #OurWellbeing.

Tweet and share your support with us at @WFSAorg and we'll help amplify your message. 

You can also use the following hashtags: #WAD2020 #OurWellbeing

WAD 2020 poster

Download a printable poster in English

Baixe um pôster para impressão em português

Téléchargez une affiche imprimable en français

Descarga un cartel imprimible en español

Examples of occupational wellbeing practices to use on your printable poster:

  • Take routine rest breaks
  • Talk to my colleagues about wellbeing
  • Raise concerns about stress with my seniors
  • Encourage a good work-life balance in my department
  • I look after my fellow anaesthesiologists
  • Implement work-place risk assessments
  • Learn to say no to calls, if you feel you’re not in good shape
  • feed and hydrate yourself properly during the workday
  • I work on emotional intelligence, assertive communication, collaborative work, empathy and compassion

Professional Wellbeing resources

 

REGISTER: Anaesthesia in focus at UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health - 13 October

appg invite 1b
Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) – How to reach the missing 5 billon

Virtual meeting: 13th October 2020 3.30 – 5.00pm BST

Click here to register for meeting

Meeting objectives

  • Why access to safe anaesthesia matters – the impacts and challenges.
  • Highlighting the ongoing impact of SAFE training on anaesthesia provision worldwide – why the education and training really matter.
  • Anaesthesia’s response to COVID-19, including the challenges of providing SAFE education and training in a COVID world.
  • What next – the future of training the next generation of anaesthetists in a COVID world and how we support it.

Reason for this meeting

5 out of the world’s 7 billion people continue to lack access to safe, affordable and timely anaesthesia and surgical care.

Globally, people are suffering due to a lack of access to safe surgery and anaesthesia. This includes access to procedures that are often straightforward and cost effective.

  • In the world’s poorest countries 9 out of 10 anaesthesia departments do not have the equipment to provide a safe anaesthetic to a child.
  • More than 290,000 women die from pregnancy and birth complications every year - 90% of these deaths are preventable.
  • Over 80% of children in the world’s poorest countries are likely to have required surgical treatment by 15 years old.

Anaesthesia is essential for a well-functioning health system, as highlighted by World Health Assembly Resolution 68.15: ‘Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage’.

The vital role that anaesthesiologists play has been emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether working in emergency departments, operating rooms, or intensive care units they have been on the frontline.

A global health challenge

In many parts of the world a significant challenge facing the access to safe anaesthesia is the lack of skilled clinicians. The WFSA’s Global Anaesthesia Workforce Survey shows that Africa has a physician anaesthesia provider density of just 0.44 per 100,000 population, far below the WHO recommended interim target of 5 per 100,000.

As a means to reduce this needs gap, the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and , developed the Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) training programme. Since its launch in 2007, this anaesthesiologist-led SAFE training programme has provided practical in-country training to over 4000 physician and non-physician providers in 45 countries.

This meeting marks World Anaesthesia Day on 16th October. The date commemorates the day in 1846 when doctors changed medicine forever by using ether to remove the torture of pain that previously accompanied surgery.


Despite nearly 170 years having passed since that first anaesthetic procedure and the countless breakthroughs that have succeeded it, access to safe anaesthesia remains out of reach for most people in this world. We want to change that.

 

Speakers

1. Lord Nigel Crisp, APPG Chair
2. Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, WFSA
3. Prof Jean-marie Dangou, NCD Coordinator, WHO-AFRO
4. Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya President of CANECSA, Tanzanian ambassador to Canada.
5. Dr Christopher Chanda, National Coordinator of Anaesthesia at the Ministry of Health in Zambia
6. Dr Isabeau Walker, Foundation Trustee, The Association of Anaesthetists
7. Dr Mary Nabukenya, Uganda
8. Dr Andrew Kintu, Uganda

This virtual APPG on Global Health meeting is supported by the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and the Association of Anaesthetists (UK and Ireland).
 

WFSA Election 2020 results announced

WFSA members have elected two new Presidents, and a new Board and Council. With 115 member societies taking part and over 300 votes cast, the 2020 election was the largest election in terms of participation and turnout in WFSA’s history. The elections are traditionally held once every 4 years during the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists but due to the congress's postponement the 2020 elections were held entirely online for the first time.

WFSA Board

The Board is responsible for the management of the Federation providing daily leadership, guidance and stewardship, taking account of the recommendations of the Council.

The newly elected WFSA Board is as follows:

  • Professor Adrian Gelb – President (USA)
  • Dr Wayne Morriss – President (New Zealand)
  • Professor Davy Cheng – Treasurer (Canada)
  • Professor Daniela Filipescu – Secretary (Romania)
  • Professor Walid Habre – Director Of Partnerships (Switzerland)
  • Dr Carolina Haylock-Loor – Director of Programmes (Honduras)

The Board will assume office as from the 1st October 2020. Professor Gelb and Dr Morriss have mutually agreed that Professor Gelb will serve as President for the first two years (with Dr Morriss as President Elect). After two years Dr Morriss will become President and Professor Gelb will serve as Immediate Past President.

Gelb AdrianFollowing his election to President, Professor Gelb said, "I'm delighted, humbled and honoured to be elected by my fellow professionals to the Presidency of WFSA at such a pivotal moment. The challenges facing health care systems have never been more pressing and WFSA has a vitally important role to play in supporting clinicians, policy makers, and service providers the world over. "

Professor Gelb continued, "I am fortunate to take over the presidency following the outstanding leadership of Dr Jannicke Mellin-Olsen and Dr Gonzalo Barreiro. I am looking forward to working closely with WFSA's member societies to continue to improve patient outcomes and strengthen anaesthesia globally through access to safe anesthesia."

wayne morrissDr Morriss, the new President Elect, who will take over the presidency in 2022 highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities that WFSA will face over the next four years, "The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to shine a spotlight on anaesthesiology worldwide. We have amazing skills inside and outside the operating room and it is vital that these skills are recognized and appropriately resourced.

The next 4 years will be challenging but there will also be many opportunities. The WFSA will be working hard to advocate for our specialty and protect the wellbeing of anaesthesiologists. I am looking forward to working with a great WFSA team and you all to strengthen our specialty and improve patient care worldwide."

WFSA Council

With representatives from all the Federation's components (National Societies, Regions, Committees, WCA COC Chair), the WFSA Council provides advice and recommendations on policy and subjects of common interest to the Federation.

The newly elected WFSA Council is as follows:

Africa and the Middle East

  • Dr Philippe Mavoungou – Congo
  • Dr Bisola Onajin-Obembe – Nigeria
  • Professor Patricia Yazbeck – Lebanon

Asia

  • Professor Yuguang Huang – China
  • Professor Il-Ok Lee – Korea
  • Professor Shigeru Saito – Japan

Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

  • Dr David Pescod – Australia

Europe

  • Dr Anna Spacek - Austria
  • Professor Stefan De Hert – Belgium
  • Dr Emilia Guasch – Spain

Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands

  • Dr Luiz Fernando dos Reis Falcão - Brazil
  • Dr Pedro Ibarra – Colombia

North Americas

  • Dr Dylan Bould – Canada
  • Dr Elizabeth Drum – USA

WFSA would like to thank all those nominees, member societies and secretariat for participating in the elections.

We're hiring - Digital Learning Lead

Job title - Digital Learning Lead
Location - London and home-based
Contract type - Permanent, Full-time
Salary range - £34,000 - £36,000 per year
Application deadline - 30 September 2020
Interviews - 7 & 8 October 2020

The successful applicant will contribute to the WFSA’s vision and mission and build the overall capacity of the WFSA Programmes team to provide digital education and training for anaesthesia providers around the world.

This is a new role which offers huge scope for development and learning across a broad remit. The Digitial Learning Lead will shape the design, development and roll-out of a high-quality digital learning experience in three initial stages:

  • Working with senior clinicians (training course leads) to transform pre-existing onsite training modules and short training courses into high-quality online products that can be effectively monitored and evaluated. This will result in developing new online training programmes as “stand-alone” courses as well as designing complements to onsite training courses (hybrid models).
  • Managing and evaluating existing online learning resources such as the WFSA’s Anaesthesia Tutorial of the Week, Update in Anaesthesia Journal, Virtual Library and COVID-19 Resources.
  • Working with WFSA Committees, our clinical volunteers and a variety of partners to establish and deliver new digital learning such as courses, webinars, educational videos and online lectures.

 Click here for more information and details on how apply visit Visit the Charity Job 

If you have a passion for digital learning then we want to hear from you.

WHO-AFRO Statement - Protecting and supporting health workers is central to Africa's COVID response

In line with WFSA's position as a non-State actor in official relations with WHO, the WFSA board have submitted the following statement for a special session of the 70th WHO Regional Committee for Africa on Africa's COVID.

Protecting and supporting health workers is central to Africa's COVID response

The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) is the largest global anaesthetic network, representing 100,000’s of anaesthesiologists in 137 countries, nearly a third of which are from the Africa region. We work with the WHO and other organisations to achieve universal access to safe anaesthesia.

The importance of access to safe anaesthesia as part of a well-functioning health system is widely accepted as per WHA Resolution 68.15 on ‘Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a component of Universal Health Coverage’.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, anaesthesiologists have played a pivotal frontline and leadership role in emergency departments, operating rooms, and intensive care units saving patients’ lives across the region. Anaesthesiologists are medical specialists, with expertise in the perioperative care of surgical patients, resuscitation, pain medicine and intensive care. This expertise has been vital in the area of oxygen therapy including patient ventilation. Their knowledge and adaptability has been critical to continuing to provide services in the face of the inconsistent or prohibitively expensive oxygen supplies that many countries are faced with.

Anaesthesiologists, together with other health workers, are the most important resource we have. Not only in the fight against COVID but also the other essential care that hospitals and health centres provide. We must ensure they are protected, supported and have the resources they need to do their jobs protecting populations.

No health system can function without a sufficient number of healthy and competent health workers. Therefore, WHO AFRO member states must ensure that for current and future pandemics, health workers have sufficient provision of disease appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other tools to prevent them from becoming sick and unable to treat their patients. Health workers wellbeing must be prioritised. This includes regulating working hours, rest breaks and other measures to create a supportive environment to counteract ill-health and burnout.

This region’s ability to effectively respond to the increased strain on its health care systems is further hamstrung by an on-going lack of skilled and appropriately trained anaesthesia providers.

The WFSA’s Global Anaesthesia Workforce Survey shows that Africa has a physician anaesthesia provider density of just 0.44 per 100,000 population, far below the WHO recommended interim target of 5 per 100,000. In response, WFSA together with its partners, have developed a series of quality training and education programmes for physicians and non-physician providers alike.

For WHO Africa Region member states to meet the WHO recommended workforce targets, especially in anticipation of the next pandemic, there is an urgent need to develop and implement, national policy and financing frameworks that will sustainably grow and support vital anaesthesia services.

WFSA and its members work with national governments and others to develop National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plans (NSOAP) incorporating the WHO-WFSA international standards for safe
practice of anaesthesia. These coordinated health plans provide a framework for governments to mitigate and sustainably address the health challenges posed by the COVID pandemic.

The WFSA calls on WHO AFRO member states and stakeholders to:

  • Protect our most valuable resource, frontline health workers, by providing a safe working environment, including appropriate PPE.
    • Develop, integrate and fund National Surgery, Obstetrics and Anaesthesia Plans (NSOAP) within national health policy and planning frameworks.
    • Address chronic workforce deficiencies in anaesthesia and intensive care through the scale- up of training and continued medical education.
    • Provide and maintain essential equipment for, anaesthesia resuscitation and intensive care, including the provision of affordable and consistent supply of oxygen therapy.

 

Alert Letter from the WFSA Professional Wellbeing Committee

Anesthesiologists are highly trained health professionals, prepared to deal with the full spectrum of perioperative care including major surgery, trauma, obstetrics, critically ill patients, and management of pain in all of its manifestations. As a specialty we have risen to the occasion to take on the challenges of caring for the highest risk surgical patients during the SARS epidemic and now the COVID-19 pandemic. In these circumstances, anesthesiology professionals showed great resolve, scientific and educational adaptability, and demonstrated our essential role in the delivery of care.

At the outset of the pandemic there was significant uncertainty regarding modes of transmission of the virus. Anesthesiology professionals who were called upon to intubate suspected COVID-19 patients were forced to confront the fear of potentially becoming infected and spreading the virus to co-workers or their families. In high-risk patients, the short time between hospitalization to deterioration and respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilator support was so dramatic that it was brutal fight for every breath. These experiences were potentially psychologically harmful, for the patients and our professionals. Compounding this, the initial inadequate availability of rapid and reliable COVID-19 diagnostic testing, along with shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) added to the stress involved in the care of these patients. It became impossible to know if what we were doing to protect ourselves and our family members was adequate. The combined result of all of these factors has been a vulnerability to numerous psychologically generated phenomena such as shared trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, burnout, alcoholism and substance abuse, all capable of influencing our professional and personal wellbeing,.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of global society including mental and physical health. This reality of a “4th wave” affecting mental health may result in an increase in the incidence of psychogenic depression, burnout syndrome, drug dependence, and suicide in physicians (particularly anesthesiologists) who are involved in the medical care of these patients.

alert

1st Wave: Immediate mortality and morbidity of COVID-19. 1st Wave Tail: Post-ICU and admission recovery for many patients.
2nd Wave: Impact of resource restrictions on non-COVID conditions – all the usual urgent things that people need immediate treatment for – acute.
3rd Wave: The impact of interrupted care of chronic conditions (people stayed home).
4th Wave: Psychic trauma, mental illness, PTSD, economic injury, burnout, and more.

The world is rightly focused on measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission and protect the most vulnerable, along with research to develop treatment drugs and a vaccine. However, the mental health impacts of COVID-19 to the healthcare professionals will be significant. There is an increasingly urgent need to understand and address these impacts through research and supportive measures for the Physicians/residents/nurses (Anesthesiologists).

Questions to be answered by anesthesiologists / residents / nurses in an introspective way in order to initiate a psychic reflection on the psychogenic reflexes generated by medical care during covid-19 pandemic.

  1. Thinking about the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, what, if any, concerns do you have about the impact on your mental wellbeing?
  2. We are keen to understand what people are doing to support their mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. What, if anything, has been helping your mental wellbeing at this time?
  3. Is there anything that you think has been helping your mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic?

Priority concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of the physicians / residents / nurses involved in medical support:

  • Anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Becoming mentally unwell (fatigue, Burnout, behavior of suicide, drug dependence, others)
  • Difficulty accessing mental health support and services
  • Changes in the family and relationships (including issues for children and young people, and older people)
  • Financial support suggestions:
    • Offer the staff extra money
    • Offer the staff extra days-off
    • Offer the staff paid holidays or at least heavily discounted holidays, in order to be able to provide this option to the staff, a committee should be formed to negotiate with bodies like banks, airlines and hotels to negotiate the reasonable way to do it.

Conclusion

In order to build a caring and supportive professional environment, WFSA and member societies are seeking to develop new and innovative well-being programmes which link clinician health and well being to quality and patient safety. A peer-to-peer wellbeing programme must be established in each Anesthesiology Department. This programme should focus on empathic listening, sharing experiences with peers, support and refer; such a programme should not provide diagnosis, nor therapy which we have the referred medical professional to manage. We need to develop our faculty with such peer support skills in resilience: Control, Commitment, Connections, Calm, and Care.

Recommended Literature

Authors

Gastão F. Duval Neto (Chair of WFSA Professional Well-being Committee (PWC))
Miodrag Milenovic (Chair of WFSA Education Committee)
Bisola Onajin-Obembe (Chair of the WFSA African Regional Section)
Daniela Filipescu (WFSA council member)
Carolina Haylock-Loor (WFSA council member)
Fauzia Khan (WFSA board member)
Davy Cheng (Chair of WFSA Scientific Affairs Committee)
Ezzat Aziz (PWC member)
Stuart Brooker (PWC member)
Venkatagiri Kalandoor (PWC member)
Wichelewski Josef (PWC member)

Applications Open: 2021 WFSA New Delhi Thoracic Anaesthesia Fellowship

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, WFSA Fellowships are under constant review. This opportunity may be cancelled or postponed at any time based on the best advice.

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 2021 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 super-specialty hospital with 675 beds 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 eight 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 (drjayashreesood@gmail.com).

How to apply:

The closing date for applications is the 16th September 2020. Successful applicants will be notified before the end of September 2020.

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/

Fund A Fellow

Ninadini Shrestha Photo 1 small

Help us to transform anaesthesia care in lower income countries

All donations made to Fund a Fellow will go directly towards enabling young leaders in anaesthesia to access these amazing training opportunities and improve outcomes for thousands of patients around the world.

DONATE NOW IN USD

DONATE NOW IN GBP