Building capacity for anaesthesia in low resource settings


K Grady, Consultant Anaesthetist, University Hospital of South Manchester Foundation Trust. Email


Direct causes of maternal deaths are responsible for about 80% of maternal mortality in developing regions of the world. Death from any one of these can be prevented by the use of relatively inexpensive, simple medical interventions which includes the use of anesthesia and anesthetic techniques. Lack of anesthetic care and anesthesia has been recognized as a limiting factor to successful provision of life saving interventions that could prevent maternal deaths in low resource settings. Doctor anesthetists are few and the anesthetic care has been adequately provided by non doctor anesthetist in many of these settings. Increasing the numbers of non doctor anesthetists and strengthening their capacity where they exist, is a strategy which will contribute to maternal mortality reduction in such settings. Several UK based organizations have contributed to increasing the capacity to deliver anesthesia in developing countries over the past 15-20 years. Learning from their experiences, a high level of training in anesthesia for non doctors can be introduced or existing programmes improved upon. This article proposes a mechanism to achieve this through national and international links for resource poor settings.