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

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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.



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).

Fund A Fellow

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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.