A Statement on SAFE Africa from Dr Paul Clyburn, AAGBI President

“In contrast to the UK, anaesthesia in many sub-Sahara African countries is largely delivered by non-physician anaesthetic providers.

On my own visit to a SAFE course in Uganda only a few years back, I was shocked to see first-hand the reality of the challenging conditions that many of these dedicated practitioners work under. Often anaesthetic providers in low-resource African countries lack access to adequate equipment and drugs, and many work in relative isolation with little opportunity for regular updating their knowledge and skills.

It is not surprising, therefore, that anaesthetic mortality and morbidity in Africa is so much worse than in the UK.

SAFE (Safer Anaesthesia from Education) courses are specifically designed to give the training and skills that these anaesthetic providers so desperately need to manage their patients more safely. The SAFE Obstetrics course provides excellent training for the safe management of women before and during childbirth. SAFE Paediatrics aims to provide safer management of babies and children under anaesthesia.

All SAFE courses include a module for teaching skills, ensuring ongoing sustainable education provision to local anaesthetists, by local anaesthetists. This guarantees independence and ownership of local teaching in the future.

The money raised by the SAFE Africa campaign will provide initial courses for local practitioners, and teacher-training courses for local trainers. It will also be used for follow-up courses to make sure that the responsibility for ongoing training is continually passed on to in-country anaesthesia partners.

Support the SAFE Africa campaign today and together we can build capacity of local anaesthesia providers to improve the safety of thousands of patients in Africa.”