PARTICIPATING IN GLOBAL SAFE SURGERY
Inspired by the Lancet Commission and the WHO Safe Surgery movement, I completed sub-specialty fellowship training in Global Health, at Dalhousie University, Canada. Under the supervision of Associate Professor Patty Livingston, I trained in medical education and knowledge translation applied to resource-poor contexts.
As a volunteer with the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation (CASIEF), I worked for 4 months in Kigali, Rwanda to establish the country’s first regional anaesthesia service in 2015-16. This was a life-changing experience as I shared the challenges that face the staff and patients of Rwanda. While anaesthesia-related mortality is extremely low in Australia (less than 1:50,000 cases), rates in Sub-Saharan Africa are as high as 1:150 cases. These statistics were now patients, friends and their families.
The rewards of working amongst such amazing people outweighed any personal challenges I faced. I learned gratitude, humility an resourcefulness from my Rwandan friends – qualities which have shaped my life and practice in Australia. You can read about my experience in Rwanda, as featured in the 2016 ANZCA Bulletin, and the 2016 St Vincent’s Clinic magazine.
I remain involved in this collaborative work through:
- building Regional Anaesthesia capacity at the University of Rwanda, Kigali;
- research project supervision of Anaesthesia Residents at the University of Rwanda; and
- knowledge translation research collaboration with the Office of Global Health, Dalhousie University, Canada.