June 30, 2014
Physician anesthesiologists arrive in Rwanda for teaching program
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA®) Global Humanitarian Outreach (GHO) volunteers arrived in Rwanda today to participate in a teaching program at the two teaching hospitals of the National University of Rwanda in the cities of Kigali and Butare. The volunteers will teach Rwandan physician anesthesiologists, residents and staff about perioperative anesthesia (before, during and after a procedure), including critical care medicine, procedural skills in a new simulation center, and pediatric anesthesia.
ASA member Michael Heine, M.D., associate professor, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at University of Louisville will teach members of the anesthesia care team at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Kigali (CHUK) and CHUB (in Butare) over the next four weeks and will return July 25. The program is led by Patricia Livingston, M.D., associate professor of anesthesia at Dalhousie University and ASA member Faye Evans, M.D., instructor in anesthesia, Harvard Medical School.
“There is a shortage of physician anesthesiologists in Rwanda and a great need for educated healthcare providers," said Dr. Heine. “By providing education and training in anesthesia, the GHO program helps improve patient safety and saves lives.”
The program hosts a Monday academic day with a morning report where an anesthesia resident will discuss a few challenging cases planned for the day. After his or her presentation, the rest of the care team identifies the anesthetic considerations and proposes an anesthetic plan. This is followed by lectures, case-based learning and simulation sessions provided by the ASA members.
In 1995, Dr. Heine volunteered in Moshi, Tanzania through the ASA original outreach initiative Overseas Training Program, then run by Founder Nicholas M. Greene, M.D. The program was founded in 1990 to address the urgent need for physician anesthesiologists to educate anesthesia providers in Africa and help curb the growing crisis of fewer and fewer physician anesthesiologists there.
The GHO program, in partnership with the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation, has worked in Rwanda since 2006 to build and strengthen the medical teaching capacity in Rwanda. The goal is to build capacity for anesthesia training in Rwanda so that, over time, there will be enough local staff physician anesthesiologists to run the program with minimal international support.