WFSA - World Health Organisation 2009
The WFSA has had a productive year working with the WHO on the Safe Surgery Saves Lives project lead by Atul Gawande which resulted in the Safer Surgery Checklist . Several WFSA member societies have championed the use of the checklist and in a number of countries, such as the UK, the checklist is being introduced to all hospitals in collaboration with the National Patient Safety Agency. This work has now led on to the WHO Global Pulse Oximetry project aiming to facilitate the provision of pulse oximeters, and training in their use, to every operating theatre in the world . Specifications have been produced for a WHO oximeter, and it is hoped that following the tendering process an oximeter will be selected and tested. The WFSA have been particularly involved in producing training materials for the project which will be trialed at the All Africa Anaesthesia Meeting in Nairobi in September. This educational work has been led by our President Angela Enright, and has been delivered on time due to her relentless energy!
A major effort to raise the profile of this lifesaving project is required to ensure that demand for oximeters is realized in parts of the world where anaesthetists work without them. This will result in hospitals and ministries of health oximeterizing health systems and thus improving perioperative safety. Major donors will be sought to support the project. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions you may have to ensure the success of this initiative. Without doubt this project is the largest anaesthesia safety initiative ever started, and all WFSA societies will need to put energy into this project to ensure its success.
An account of the oximetry projects in Uganda, Vietnam, India and the Philippines run by a collaboration from the WFSA, AAGBI and GE Healthcare will be published in the journal Anaesthesia along with an accompanying editorial in October 2009. These projects did much to inform WHO of the practical aspects of the present global programme.
The WFSA has also assisted the work of the WHO, through our contact Dr Meena Cherian of the Clinical Procedures Unit. We provided input into the new WHO guideline on the Clinical Use of Oxygen in Hospitals with Limited Resources which details indications for oxygen, how to administer oxygen and how to monitor patients receiving oxygen.
Countries seeking advice about how to improve anaesthesia services will benefit from a joint WFSA / WHO blueprint describing the essential components of a national anaesthesia service. This will provide guidance in organizing a service, personnel who may provide anaesthesia, training recommendations, equipment required and ways of working to support safe practice. It is anticipated that this guideline will compliment the WHO Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) program. Part of this effort should result in a collation of WFSA / WHO materials for teaching. Anaesthesia training curricula will be reviewed to look for best practice for good training. Minimum standards for training in anaesthesia will be developed. Improvements in training methods will be coordinated with WHO. The WFSA has some experience with training master-classes run by Mike Dobson and Lesley Bromley - "Training the trainers".
Following participation of WFSA members in a meeting organized by WHO Essential Health Technologies Department on anaesthesia equipment, WFSA and WHO have been working on generic specifications for anaesthesia machines that can operate reliably in resource poor areas of the world. This work is vital as many anaesthesia machines in poorer countries remain unused due to shortages of spare parts and facilities for repair.