CASIEF has been developing a relationship with the Society of Anesthesia and Reanimation of Burkina Faso (SARMU-B) and the anesthesiologists of Burkina Faso for the past few years. Initially, SARMU-B reached out to CASIEF about the critical shortage of pulse oximeters in the country. Through the generous donations of CASIEF members and friends, 117 pulse oximeters and 28 neonatal probes were distributed at a Lifebox Training Course co-facilitated by CASIEF Past-Chair, Dr. Angela Enright.
In June 2015, Professor Naziningouba Ouédraogo, President of SARMU-B, presented at the CAS Annual Meeting in Ottawa. He spoke about the challenges of establishing an anesthesia residency training program in Burkina Faso. At that time, an agreement was reached to deliver the SAFE Obstetric Anesthesia Course in Ouagadougou.
With the financial support of CASIEF and WFSA, the SAFE Obstetric Anesthesia Course was offered in March 2016 to 32 anesthesia providers. A further 15 anesthesiologists participated in the instructor trainer course. It was clear that local instructors and participants really enjoyed the course and learned a great deal. Their confidence grew and it is hoped that they will be able to apply the lessons learned in their home hospitals.
The new Burkinabé instructors will run SAFE OB courses throughout their country. All of the materials and mannikins necessary to do so were donated to the SARMU-B by CASIEF and the WFSA. Two Canadians, Dr Sylvie Cousineau (Montreal) and Dr Angela Enright (Victoria) taught the course alongside one of our Rwandan graduates, Dr Benjamin Semakuba Amani, and American CAS member, Dr Faye Evans. It was a very eclectic group, supported by Mr Remy Turc of Lifebox. The Burkinabé Minister of Health and the Canadian Chargé d’Affaires attended the presentation ceremony.
CASIEF is continuing its support of anesthesia in Burkina Faso by sponsoring a young Burkinabé anesthesiologist to attend the 16th World Congress of Anesthesiologists in Hong Kong in August 2016. Dr Cheik Bougouma will present a poster on his work on pulse oximetry and the Surgical Safety Checklist in Burkina Faso. We are also supporting a pediatric anesthesiologist from Burkina Faso to participate in the formation of a Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery. This is a group of surgeons and anesthesiologists who want to make sure that children are not forgotten in the global push for safe surgery. Dr Bertille Ki will represent the views of pediatric anesthesiologists from French West Africa.