Our first volunteer, Jonty Dean, on the Paediatric anaesthesia grant programme writes
Paediatric anaesthesia training for Anaesthetic Clinical Officers (ACOs) at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Malawi.
(Part of Africa Grants Programme, managed by THET and funded by Johnson & Johnson Foundation)
It is now just over a month since my wife Emma and I arrived in Malawi. Having left the travel chaos of COVID behind, the relaxed and friendly greeting we received from the Malawian people was most welcome to two weary travellers. Paperwork and introductions at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) complete, I quickly became immersed in every day life in the operating theatre department, learning much from the knowledgeable and experienced anaesthetic clinical officers (ACO’s) about medications and equipment that I had only ever read about. It was quickly apparent that this group of clinicians are excellent at adapting to the ever changing availability of resources to hand and providing anaesthetic care to often sick and complex patients with limited background information.
One month on, with the paediatric anaesthetic project launched, progress with the paediatric anaesthetic clinical officers (pACO’s) feels rapid and the pressure coming from them for teaching sessions and skills acquisition is most welcome. Whilst there are many more topics to discuss, lessons to give, skills to refine…. their eagerness to learn and provide the best level of care possible for the babies, infants and children’s gives me hope that some long term benefits will surely come from this exciting and rewarding Malawian project.