Experts advocate retraining of anaesthetists for safer paediatric surgery

Experts at a three-day training in Abuja have identified retraining of paediatric anaesthetists as one of the best ways to provide safer and improved anaesthesia to children during surgery.

They said that retraining of paediatric anaesthetists could help reduce morbidity and mortality during paediatric surgery.

The experts said this while speaking during a course training organised for paediatric anaesthesiologists by the Paediatric Anaesthesia Society of Nigeria (PASoN) in partnership with Smile Train, a cleft charity organisation.

The theme ìs entitled: ”Safer Anaesthesia from Education – Paediatrics ” (SAFE-Paediatrics)

Dr Maryrose Osazuwa, a Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist, National Hospital Abuja, said the issue of safety in the administration of anaesthesia especially on children could not be over- emphasised.

Osazuwa, who is also the Vice-President of PASoN, therefore, called for increased advocacy and education, as well as the training of more professionals.

“We have a limited number of paediatric anaesthetists in Nigeria.

“However, there is a need to educate other anaesthetists who also care for children to bridge the gap caused by brain drain.

“There is a need to increase the number of skilled healthcare professionals.

“Asides the PATA fellowship, which trains two doctors annually, more advocacy is needed and more training programmes for PASoN members and all health workers involved in child care will go a long way in tackling the challenge,” she said.

Also speaking, SAFE Course Director, Dr Alhassan Mohammed, who is also a Consultant Anaesthetist at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, said the training was aimed at teaching participants how to effectively manage anaesthesia in children undergoing surgery, while ensuring their safety throughout the process.

Dr Salawu Morayo, another Consultant Anaesthetist at the National Hospital Abuja, said only continuous training could guarantee safe anaesthesia.

“The administration of anaesthesia in children is particularly challenging due to their unique and delicate nature.

“Therefore, anaesthetists who handle children need to undergo continuous training and retraining to develop systematic and methodical practices that would ensure safer and better anaesthesia and reduce morbidity.

“Government should employ more anaesthetists, provide more training opportunities, and empower the professionals for effective service delivery,” Morayo, who is a facilitator of the training, said.

Speaking earlier, Victoria Awuzie, Senior Programme Manager, Smile Train, had revealed that sponsoring the training was in line with the vision of the charity organisation, which is dedicated to quality healthcare capacity building and advocacy to increase access to safer surgeries in low- and middle-income countries.

Awuzie disclosed that the training was for 80 participants who are expected to disseminate the knowledge acquired to their respective states and regions including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano.

“Smile Train has partnered with and supported hospitals across Nigeria to enhance their capacity to care for children and ensure their safety during surgeries.

“This is a significant investment, and we will continue to train doctors and nurses until we achieve our goals,” she said.

Dr Abubakar Ballah, a participant from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, expressed appreciation to the organisers for the knowledge gained

“I will take the knowledge gained from this training to my colleagues.

“The importance of proper procedures and safety rules that cannot be overstressed.

“I will advocate policy changes, such as involving anesthetists in trauma management, where previously they were not involved,” he said.

He thanked the organisers and sponsors of the course for the opportunity given him and other participants at the training.

The theme of the training was, “Safer Anaesthesia From Education – Paediatrics (SAFE-Paediatrics)”.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria