UNAM to produce specialist anaesthetists
A new postgraduate course was recently introduced at the University of Namibia (UNAM) in order to increase the number of state anaesthetists.
Six students have just started the University’s new Masters in Anaesthesia course, supported by the Phoenix Project partnership with Cardiff University in Wales, UK. They will be the first specialist anaesthetists trained in the country.
The training will help address an acute shortage of anaesthetists which leaves patients facing long waiting lists for surgery and a lack of specialist care during emergency operations. The students will transform the number of dedicated anaesthetists available, building self-sufficiency for the training of specialist anaesthetists in Namibia and improving the quality of patient care.
“The start of the training of the anaesthetists is a huge relieve to the health care and pain management delivery in the public hospitals in Namibia. It also key for a sustainable system of a training programme for doctors as anaesthetists in the country,” Professor Frednard Gideon, Pro-Vice Chancellor: Academic Affairs at UNAM said.
Ebba Shaanika, a student on the Master’s in Anaesthesia programme, said that both the private and public health sector, currently do not have enough anaesthetists.
“We are happy to be part of the first group on the Master’s programme and specialise in the field, as it is an important part when patients undergo an operation of surgery,” Shaanika added.
Phoenix Project leader Professor Judith Hall, of Cardiff University, also a consultant anaesthetist, came up with the idea for the new anaesthesia course and worked with partners at UNAM to develop it.
“Surgery can save lives but you can’t have surgery without anaesthesia, and Namibia has so few state anaesthetists. This Masters course will create a new body of professional anaesthetics doctors in Namibia in sufficient numbers to truly transform care,” Hall said.
The training intends to lead to improved support for surgical care and provide leadership for specialist anaesthetic care throughout the country.
The Phoenix Project, a mutually beneficial collaboration between Cardiff University and UNAM, has previously provided intensive crash courses in anaesthesia and critical care skills for students and doctors around the country.