These days, there’s a ‘day’ for everything. In the next seven days alone you can look forward to World Toy Camera Day, Nut Day and countless others. However, for the WFSA, patients across the globe, and their families, the most import is World Anaesthesia Day - celebrated on 16th October every year.
World Anaesthesia Day celebrates the historic first demonstration of anaesthesia on 16th October 1846, but we thought the day should also focus on the present, look to the future, and encourage people to think about the impact anaesthesiologists today could have on future generations. So with that in mind, the WFSA is launching our SAFETY: Safe Anaesthesia For Everybody - TodaY campaign on social media.
The SAFETY campaign will seek to raise awareness about the need to increase the availability of safe anaesthesia and surgical care worldwide, with the long term aim of influencing the policy change and material response.
Safety is a vital part of strengthening anaesthesia and surgical care. Access on its own is not enough given the huge impact of unsafe surgery on individuals, communities and societies.
Currently 70% of operating rooms in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have a pulse oximeter, an essential piece of equipment for practicing safe anaesthesia and surgical care. 41% of hospitals in Latin America and 45% in South Asia face the same crisis. It is a global problem that can be made known across the world through the WFSA’s huge network of anaesthesia providers.
The WFSA spoke to a few of our Programme Heads and members to ask what they believed would improve SAFETY in their home countries.
“Training programs are very important to spread the knowledge and experience to areas where trained doctors of a particular specialty are not available. [In India] Though there are several training programs in the country, many do not want to practice in rural areas. Many move towards greener pastures, which is very sad,” Dr Subramanian Kandasamy, Vellore, India
“In Mexico there is currently a campaign focusing on safety aspects in anaesthesia in all the courses organized by Mexican Federation of Anesthesiology AC. The official standard that governs all activities involving the application of anaesthesia was recently amended to ensure security is paramount for the welfare of patients,” Dr Ignacio Varela Maldonado, Zacatecas, Mexico
“I believe training programmes are very important as a form of continuing medical education. The overall objective of the WFSA program I undertook was to provide clinical pain management training for African doctors who will return to their home country to contribute to the development of pain services for those in need,” Dr Olayinka Eyelade, Ibadan, Nigeria
“India is a diverse country and in some regions infrastructure and facilities are not offering all they could be, although it varies centre to centre. Things have become much better in India over the past ten years, however making anaesthesia education more uniform and formulating Indian guidelines for common perioperative issues would aid the safe practice of anaesthesia in India,” – Dr Balavenkat Subramanian, Coimbatore, India
Along with our partners; the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA), Nigerian Society of Anaesthetists (NSA), South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA), Bangladesh Society of Anaesthesiologists (BSA), international NGO Lifebox Foundation, and the G4 Alliance, the WFSA is asking anaesthesia providers to ‘unite for safe anaesthesia’ by taking a photograph of themselves and their location, and uploading it onto social media.
We sent out a SAFETY Campaign ‘Toolkit' to all of our member societies and are already seeing some amazing results on Facebook and Twitter!
These images will be collected and made into a large collage that will show the volume, reach and unity of anaesthesiologists around the world, all of which can be used to drive change.
Julian Gore-Booth, Chief Executive of the WFSA, hopes that not only our members will get involved, but also the wider medical community and those interested in improving global health.
"Safe anaesthesia is not a luxury, it's a human right. As part of its commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 3 and the strengthening of health systems, the WFSA aims to make safe anaesthesia available to all. Add your voice to this campaign and help us to put universal access to safe, affordable and timely surgical care at the forefront of the global health agenda.”
If you would like to get involved please read the ‘Toolkit’ and print our #WorldAnaesthesiaDay banner, then post, tweet and share for #SAFETY.
Safe Anaesthesia For Everyone – Today!
For more information on the WFSA’s advocacy programmes please click here.