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A training course on the clinical aspects of working in resource-poor settings and other challenges that the overseas anaesthetist may face, took place from 13 to 17 November 2023 at the Mt Elgon Hotel in Mbale, Uganda.

Course faculty and delegates

The Oxford Global Anaesthesia Course exists to improve the quality and sustainability of overseas work done by anaesthetists from the UK and other high-income countries. Many such clinicians have had excellent training and experience in their home systems, but rightly perceive a gap between this background and the skills and knowledge they may need in a different setting. The course, which was launched in Oxford by Dr Mike Dobson in 1981, is focused on meeting this need. In addition, delivering the course in Uganda provides opportunity for first-hand experience of an African healthcare setting and much-valued collaboration with faculty from a number of African countries.

The organisation of the course in Mbale was led by Dr Adam Hewitt-Smith (Uganda Co-Director of the course) and Dr Hilary Edgcombe (Oxford Course Director), and the international faculty included Dr Naomi Shamambo (Zambia), Dr Fred Bulamba and Dr Paul Ochieng (both from Mbale, Uganda). 

Taking place over five days and accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the course included lectures, seminars, interviews, panel discussions, hands-on skills sessions and hospital visits to CURE Hospital (an NGO hospital delivering predominantly paediatric neurosurgical care) and Mbale Regional Referral Hospital (a government referral hospital serving about four million people). 

The course was attended by 18 delegates from Australia, Belgium, Canada, DR Congo, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the US and the UK. Feedback from the delegates was positive. Particularly valuable were the opportunities to learn from and network with faculty anaesthetists from within Africa, who were able to explain a number of issues first hand and also discuss their experience of working with overseas volunteers.

Dr Edgcombe said: ‘It is our aim to continue to provide high-calibre training to anaesthetists wishing to work overseas, and thus to improve the quality and sustainability of their work to the ultimate benefit of patients in the majority world.’

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