Join us at an upcoming event to network with colleagues, learn more about CASIEF, and get inspired about how you can get involved in global health.
Every year around 290,000 women die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. 90% of these deaths are preventable.
Can you imagine facing difficulties during birth in an environment where access to safe anaesthesia and surgery is limited? Happy Birth Days is an insight into everyday childbirth in Tanzania, and into the Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) obstetric anaesthesia course which brings Tanzanian anaesthesia providers together for training on how to address the major causes of maternal mortality and give the safest possible care.
Happy Birth Days defines access to safe anaesthesia and surgery, not as a luxury, but as a basic human right – with the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of mothers and babies around the world.
I spend part of last week in Kampala for the Association of Anesthesiologists of Uganda’s 3rd annual scientific meeting with Paulin, the chair here in Rwanda. It was fantastic to see so many attendees there for the meeting if this thriving society. An active society of anesthesia can make a huge contribution to training, setting national standards for anesthesia care, promoting research and scholarship and other forms of collaboration. What I saw at the AAU meeting is something to aspire to for the relatively dormant Rwandan Society of Anesthesiologists.
Delegates had come from the US, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania. In particular, I was lucky to find Dr Mahelet Tadesse, the vice-chair of the Department of Anesthesia at Black Lion Hospital where CASIEF has a partnership. She was there with 2 of her colleagues and we met with Paulin so that we could make the most of the opportunity if these two programs learning from each other. Some challenges are the same – the need to scale up human resources for anesthesia quickly with few local faculty. Other challenges are different, like the relationship between physician and non-physician anesthesia providers, and I think there’s great scope for South-South collaboration between programs like this. I’m planning to visit Addis early 2018 to get to know the program there, and I think it would be of value to bring Pauin, if possible. Mahelet and her colleagues expressed an interest in visiting and learning from the Rwanda program. It would be great to make that work.
In the evening I managed to catch up with some old and some new friends. The AAU had a Gala dinner with some quite amazing dancing typical of various regions of Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. We were invited to get up and join.
You’re never too young to advocate for improved access to safe surgical and anesthesia care!
We’re getting some OR hats made from Rwandan kitenge for sale at the 2018 CAS Annual Meeting in Montreal, to raise money for CASIEF. Requests for colours welcome!
I’ve spent most of last week working on a leadership course here at CHUK, with Lisa Kelly, the COO of a large UK hospital (University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust). “INSPIRE through Clinical Leadership” is a work in progress. Lisa was in Lusaka with the University of Zambia anesthesia residency program for a year 2012-13. During that time she included leadership and management skills as part of the curriculum. Unfortunately when she left, there was no obvious replacement to teach these skills to out residents, so we’ve been working on putting the material in a course that could be delivered over 3-4 days. The idea is that the course would be run one week, and that participants with leadership experience would be selected for a train the trainers day. The following week the new local faculty could ruin the course themselves. We’ve run two pilots of the course in Lusaka, last year and in February this year, generously funded by the Tropical Health and Education Trust. This week was our first pilot in a different context – Rwanda – to see how generalizable the material is, and refine further. This time the course was supported by CASIEF.
I think that the course went really well. It’s very interactive and based on reflection, sekf-awareness and understanding key concepts. We covered an introduction to leadership and leadership styles, the patient experience, personal influence and managing a team, project management and performance management. Some parts were quite different due to cultural issues – in particular the scenario we had to work through conflict resolution didn’t really work in the very conflict averse Rwandan context. Back to the drawing board with that one. Language also slowed things down. English is the language of instruction here at the University of Rwanda, but in reality it’s usually people’s 2nd or 3rd language after Kinyarwanda and French. We just had to reduce the amount of content, trying to get the key points across. I think we may have to translate some material – e.g. self assessments – for next time.
We got great feedback from the participants. I feel that leadership skills are so important here in Rwanda, where it’s so important to lead change in healthcare to improve patient outcomes. Lisa will be back early next year for a second pilot – and I hope the course material will be ready for dissemination soon after that.
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2017 CASIEF Gala Dinner
Sunday, June 25th, 2017. 6:30-9:30 PM, Queen Victoria Pl, Niagara Falls: casief-dinner-2017
ANESTHESIA GLOBAL OUTREACH COURSE
Anesthesia is an essential component of every health system. Despite its pivotal role in routine surgical care, it has not been prioritized globally. This is undoubtedly partially due to a global health human resources shortage and disparities in distribution of personnel globally. Beyond this, at the level of many district hospitals in low-income countries, there are simply few resources to institute physician-led anesthetic care models that are commonplace in high resource settings. Given the scope of the surgical burden of disease, attempts to remedy the situation have included equipment donations, trainee exchanges, or even assisting patients to obtain care abroad. Their sustainability and effectiveness remains uncertain.
The Anesthesia for Global Outreach Course is focused on providing anesthesia providers with the skills and knowledge to work both safely and responsibly in the low-resource setting. The target audience for this course is medical professionals planning to deliver anesthesia, peri-operative, and critical care in the low-resource settings. It is designed primarily for anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and anesthesiologist assistants, however it may also include nursing, pain management, and respiratory care.
Upcoming Course Details:
BETHUNE ROUND TABLE 2017
The Bethune Round Table (BRT) is an annual interdisciplinary scientific meeting hosted at a Canadian academic centre to discuss challenges and solutions to improving surgical care to under-serviced and marginalized populations in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of the BRT is to bring together health professionals from a variety of disciplines including surgeons, anesthesiologists, obstetricians, and nurses to share their research and experiences in the delivery of surgery in low-resource settings.
Upcoming Course Details
Dates: June 1-3, 2017
Host: University of Ottawa
WORLD CONGRESS OF ANAESTHESIOLOGISTS
Upcoming Course Details
Dates: Aug 28-Sept 2, 2016
Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre