In October, over 100 nurse and physician anaesthetists attended a refresher anaesthesia course in Mozambique, co-ordinated by Dr Roger Eltringham, Medical Director of SAWW and Dr Teresa Schwalbach of Maputo Central Hospital.Those attending had come from every province in the country and some had travelled over 1,000 miles to be there.
There is a serious shortage of qualified anaesthetists in developing countries, and many anaesthetists work alone in remote hospitals, without any professional support and few opportunities for ongoing training.
The course at Maputo included presentations by local teaching staff, visiting speakers, practical demonstrations and hands-on audience participation. There were also useful panel discussions on difficult scenarios likely to be encountered by anaesthetists working in isolated hospitals.
The most popular feature proved to be the Question and Answer sessions held each day. Questions submitted by the audience were discussed by a panel, who worked their way through over fifty questions during the course. The most commonly asked questions are being made available for circulation by the Mozambique Society of Anaesthetists.
The course ended with an exam and winners were awarded prizes of books and diagnostic aids, provided by the visiting speakers. At the closing ceremony certificates were awarded to all who attended, accompanied by singing from a local choir of anaesthetists.
This hugely successful refresher training course was supported by the Ministry of Health, the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiology (WFSA) and the Society of Anaesthesia of Mozambique. The event was covered by the local press and on televison.
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