Uganda Anaesthesia Fellowship programme

Uganda Anaesthesia Fellowship Programme

Uganda is a low-income country with a severe medical workforce crisis. Physician salaries are low and many postgraduate trainees leave the country or are attracted into externally supported specialities such as public health or HIV. Anaesthesia has not attracted postgraduate doctors into the speciality in recent years and there are now fewer than 20 physician anaesthetists (350 non-physician anaesthetic officers) for a population of 30M. In 2006 there were only two physicians in anaesthesia training in Uganda. The AAGBI/GPAS Uganda Anaesthesia Fellowship has been established as a collaborative project between the AAGBI and the University of San Francisco California Global Partnerships in Anesthesia and Surgery (GPAS). The aim of the project is to increase the number of physician anaesthetists in Uganda necessary for the development of the specialty and to train the physician and non-physician workforce of the future.

Postgraduate training in anaesthesia in Uganda

There are two 3-year MMed programmes in anaesthesia at present, one at Mulago Hospital Kampala, the other at Mbarara University Hospital. Postgraduate trainees in Uganda are required to pay university fees, and most do not receive a salary whilst they are training.

The aim of the AAGBI/GPAS Fellowship programme is to provide trainees with an income to pay their university fees and to provide moderate support for living costs when the trainee does not receive a salary from the employing hospital. The Fellowship funds trainees to a maximum of £3,000 per annum for each year of training.

Trainees are appointed by interview after their internship year. They have regular assessments, annual written and oral examinations, and are required to complete a research project in their final year. They have an annual appraisal with a member of the AAGBI or GPAS. When accepting a fellowship, trainees sign an agreement to continue to work after qualification in sub-Saharan Africa for a period equal to that for which they received funding from AAGBI/GPAS.

Outcome of the Fellowship training programme

The first trainee, Arthur Kwizera, graduated in 2009 and is now employed in Mulago hospital. He has actively recruited trainees into the programme and there are now 12 postgraduate trainees in anaesthesia, seven fully funded and four partially funded by the fellowship programme. The aim of the Ugandan Society of Anaesthesia is to recruit 10 trainee anaesthetists per year over the next five years, and the AAGBI would like to support them in this aim.

Fellows Profiles. Find out more »

Donate to OAF. Download the donation form »