I will be serving the role as supervising faculty anesthesiologist for a medical mission trip with 2 anesthesia resident trainees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Our goals include providing anesthesia services in a medically underserved environment, offering didactics and clinical teaching to anesthesia trainees in Malawi, and there will certainly be an educational benefit for myself and trainees with the opportunity to interact with local healthcare providers and patients.
"The University of North Carolina Project-Malawi (UNC Project) is a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Malawi Ministry of Health. It is based on the campus of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe."
The two populations likely to benefit the most would be the surgical patient population at KCH hospital in Malawi. This surgical outreach service is an established relationship between UNC, Chapel Hill and and KCH Hospital in Malawi. In addition, we will continue ongoing education for the anesthesia trainees during our medical mission trip.
Our trip is part of a larger initiative to provide sustained anesthesia clinical care and education in an underserved clinical environment. We will be contributing to an annual 1 month experience offered by the department of anesthesiology (1 physician/2 residents staffing for 1 month).
The impact of this experience is hard to capture in words. As American anesthesiologists, taking our clinical practice into an extremely low resource setting proves challenging at every turn, but also immensely educational. Trying to provide safe and evidenced based perioperative care requires a dynamic skillset. In addition, we were able to convey some areas of expertise to the local anesthesia providers through clinical teaching as well as more structured teaching sessions. The relationships formed during this experience are likely the greatest benefit to affect lasting change both and home and in the LMIC care setting.