The Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) is committed to supporting the development of the specialty of pediatric anesthesiology around the globe. Starting in 2013, in partnership with the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA), SPA began financially supporting a fellow at the University of Nairobi who has been designated the SPA East Africa Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellow. SPA Global members have also provided logistical and educational support for this program. SPA Global is involved with on-going efforts to expand fellowship training in other under-served areas. It is our hope that these international collaborations will continue to grow and allow SPA members to be directly involved in a medical education solution which will impact the lives of children around the global for decades to come.
University of Nairobi Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship
An International Partnership with the SPA, APAGBI, AAGBI, WFSA, and the University of Nairobi (Kenya) Pediatric anesthesia mortality in East and Central Africa is poorly documented but reports indicate anesthesia mortality is as high as 1 death per 144 cases. This is in stark contrast to the anesthesia mortality in the US which is 1 death per 100,000. In low and middle-income countries (LMICS) over 40% of the population is reported to be under the age of 14.4 It is estimated that 85% of these children will require surgery before the age of 15.5 As in other parts of the world, these children require both basic and complicated surgical procedures, yet they often do not have the benefit of being attended to by a physician anesthesiologist, let alone a pediatric anesthesiologist. In fact, prior to 2013, anesthesia fellowship training in East and Central Africa did not exist.
Through the collaborative efforts between the University of Nairobi School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, the World Federation Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA), the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA), the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (APAGBI), and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) the University of Nairobi Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship began in September 2013. The process was several years in the making and was the first University fellowship-level training program at the University of Nairobi. It now serves as a model for other disciplines.
This fellowship is also unique among WFSA supported fellowships as it is the only fellowship with University accreditation. The academic foundation of this program allows graduates to become fully recognized as experts in Pediatric Anesthesia within their home countries thus improving anesthetic care of the pediatric surgical patient in East and Central Africa.
The leadership provided by Dr. Mark Gacii has contributed to the success of the fellowship. Educators in Kenya provide the vast majority of the clinical and didactic training while external lecturers provide additional requested mentorship and support. Since 2013, all graduates have returned to their home country in East, Central, or West Africa and are leading the development of pediatric anesthesia care both through education and direct clinical care.
The Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) in the United States is committed to supporting the development of the specialty of pediatric anesthesia in East and Central Africa. Since its inauguration in 2013, the SPA has provided mentorship, guidance, as well as financial support for the fellowship. Each year the SPA financially supports one fellowship position including the opportunity to participate in the ASA Global Scholars’ program.
It is our hope that this international collaboration will continue to grow and allow SPA members to be directly involved in a medical education solution which will impact the lives of children in Africa for decades.
In partnership with the World Federations Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), in 2020 the SPA began sponsoring a pediatric anesthesia fellowship program in Thailand – BARTC-Peds. The WFSA has a long history of fellowship training at the Bangkok Regional Training Center (BARTC) (http://www.wfsa-bartc.org). BARTC was established in 1996 to provide a one-year advanced anesthesia fellowship for anesthesiologists in the region (participants are from outside of Thailand). Since inception 84 fellows have completed the fellowship. There are typically four each year.
The BARTC-Peds fellowship is a one-year pediatric anesthesia fellowship with the goal to expand pediatric anesthesia fellowship training in Asia. It is being led by Dr. Naiyana Aroonpruksakul the fellowship director. This fellowship began in January 2021. SPA Global is honored to be working with the BARTC-Peds program director, local faculty, and fellows to support this program.