This week we spoke to Dr Karima Khalid who was funded by the WFSA to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Regional Anaesthesia and Analgesia in Dubai this year. The course consisted of 5 sessions, which were specifically designed to introduce young anaesthesiologists to different aspects of regional anaesthesia.
Dr Khalid is from Tanzania and works at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute in Dar es Salaam. The Postgraduate Diploma course allowed her to travel to Dubai to learn and share information with colleagues in the United Arab Emirates as part of the WFSA’s wider aim to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise around the world.
The course involved lessons in a classroom, full day workshops, and a clinical component to give fellows the chance to learn the theory and practice of regional anaesthesia and analgesia.
“During the course, I was able to gain a lot of knowledge from world-renowned doctors who have made great contributions in regional anaesthesia,” Dr Khalid explained.
“Each session ended with a full day workshop of all the blocks that we had learnt as well as on the use of the ultrasound and how to perform needling. It was as basic and well defined in details and steps that even beginners like myself were able to participate and understand, and the more advanced learners also left with new skills after each and every workshop station.”
“Practice was done on models and each one of us had the chance to hold the ultrasound probe and scan the models to see landmarks and the nerves that we target in each block.”
The course also included a five-day clinical placement at Rashid Hospital, learning from Professor Philippe Macaire. Dr Khalid found this component of the diploma the most useful to her professional development and was enthusiastic in describing the work she did at the hospital:
“I was given the chance to work on real patients and see, as well as practice under supervision, the administration of the blocks that I had learnt during the theory sessions as well as during the hands on workshops.”
“Professor Macaire was kind enough to take me to his pain clinic and show me how he performs blocks and other procedures for pain management. He was always keen and eager to share his knowledge and was able to deal very well with a beginner like myself and made me comfortable and confident in what I was doing.”
And so what did Dr Khalid learn from completing the Postgraduate Diploma?
“The course has increased my knowledge of anaesthetics and has been an eye opener especially in the use of ultrasound in the performance of regional anaesthesia.”
“In my hospital currently, only general and spinal anaesthesia are practiced. This has made our work quite limited and has made decision-making quite difficult at times, as well as exposing patients to undue risks, which could be avoided by performing blocks instead of giving general or spinal anaesthesia. Our patients also suffer a lot of pain postoperatively making rehabilitation difficult,as well as putting them though a lot of suffering, and exposing them to the risk of developing chronic pain.”
Does that mean she will be putting these new skills to practice in Tanzania, improving patient care in the process?
“With the knowledge and skills that I have acquired, I have already started talking to my hospital's authorities about the benefits of regional anaesthesia and as of now, the radiology department has promised to lend us one of their ultrasound machines while we are awaiting to acquire a machine of our own, so that we can start administering the blocks as soon as I complete my course,” Dr Khalid explained with enthusiasm.
“I believe this is one of the key steps that I have to take to share the lessons learned during my course with my community.”
“Being a tutor myself, I have also started preparing myself to start teaching my residents the basics of regional anaesthesia as well as ultrasound guidance, as I believe they are the future in the growth and expansion of regional anaesthesia in my country.”
Dr Khalid’s experience is one that the WFSA is extremely proud of. As our mission is to “To improve patient care, and access to safe anaesthesia, by uniting anaesthesiologists around the world”, we are thrilled to see this put into practice, with knowledge being shared and utilised between countries.
If you are interested in applying for one of our education programmes you can find more information here.