Elisa Lund, MD
Elisa Lund, MD
Anesthesiology · Chapel Hill, NC

Global Anesthesia Malawi

February 1st
Lilongwe, Malawi

Project Description

UNC Global Anesthesia has continued a partnership with Kamuzu Central Hospital for the past twenty years collaborating in educating future Trained Anesthesia Clinical Officers (TACO). The TACO educational program is a two year course after high school and is the primary source of training anesthesia providers in Malawi. Typically, a graduating class is between 15 to 20 students. The rotation UNC is involved with is a one month elective for resident anesthesiologists of the UNC Anesthesia Residency Program. My role will be to supervise and support the American Anesthesia Resident as they train and equip TACO trainees in airway management, crisis management and advanced techniques including regional anesthesia, POCUS and neuraxial anesthesia.

Population Served

In the entire population of Malawi of 20 million individuals, there is only one medical physician anesthesiologist. The burden of care primarily falls on Anesthesia Clinical Officers. However, the number of trained clinical officers remains disproportionately low compared to the surgical training available. This rotation continues to train excellent anesthesia providers in a severely underserved population as these trained anesthesia officers serve all areas of the country upon graduation.

Expected Impact

This one month rotation will continue to strengthen an already established relationship between UNC Anesthesia and Kamuzu Central Hospital. Each year, we form phenomenal friendships with the anesthesia trainees that are maintained for years to come. The goal for this trip is to empower and equip Malawian healthcare providers with the education and training to care for patients years to follow. UNC's goal is to continue this relationship for years as it allows education for both the Malawi trainees and our American Anesthesia Residents.

Trip Photos & Recap

Through this partnership with Kamuzu Central Hospital, a team from University of North Carolina (two faculty anesthesiologists and two resident anesthesiologists) taught a 1 month curriculum for Training Anesthesia Clinical Officers in Lilongwe, Malawi. 33 students participated and completed core Simulation sessions preparing them for critical emergencies (such as responding to hypoxia, LAST, or failed intubation). Additionally, students learned skills on ultrasound for quick point of care ultrasound heart/lung assessment and regional anesthesia skills. I am so impressed by these student's knowledge base and enthusiasm for their profession. I cannot wait to hear how they care for their future patients wherever they go (whether to smaller district hospitals around the country or larger central hospitals like KCH).