WFSA – World Health Organisation 2009


WFSA – World Health Organisation 2009


has had a productive year working with the WHO on the Safe Surgery
Saves Lives
project lead by Atul Gawande which  resulted in
the Safer Surgery
Checklist [1].  Several WFSA member
societies have championed the use of the checklist and in a number of
countries, such as the UK, the checklist is being introduced to all
hospitals in
collaboration with the National Patient Safety Agency.  This
work has now led on to the WHO Global Pulse Oximetry project
aiming to facilitate the provision of pulse oximeters, and training in
use, to every operating theatre in the world [2].  Specifications
have been produced for a WHO oximeter, and it
is hoped that following the tendering process an oximeter will be
selected and
tested. The WFSA have been particularly involved in producing training
materials for the project which will be trialed at the All Africa
Meeting in Nairobi in September. 
This educational work has been led by our President Angela
Enright, and
has been delivered on time due to her relentless energy!

A major
effort to raise the profile of this lifesaving project is required to
that demand for oximeters is realized in parts of the world where
work without them.  This will
result in hospitals and ministries of health oximeterizing health
systems and
thus improving perioperative safety. 
Major donors will be sought to support the project.  Please
email [email protected] with
any suggestions you may have to ensure the success of this initiative.
doubt this project is the largest anaesthesia safety initiative ever
and all WFSA societies will need to put energy into this project to
ensure its

account of the oximetry projects in Uganda, Vietnam, India and the
run by a collaboration from the WFSA, AAGBI and GE Healthcare will be
in the journal Anaesthesia along with
an accompanying editorial in October 2009.  These projects
did much to inform WHO of the practical
aspects of the present global programme.

has also assisted the work of the WHO, through our contact Dr Meena
Cherian of
the Clinical Procedures Unit.  We
provided input into the new WHO guideline on the Clinical Use of Oxygen
in Hospitals
with Limited Resources which details indications for oxygen, how to
oxygen and how to monitor patients receiving oxygen. 

seeking advice about how to improve anaesthesia services will benefit
from a
joint WFSA / WHO blueprint describing the essential components
of a national anaesthesia service. 
This will provide guidance in organizing a service, personnel who
provide anaesthesia, training recommendations, equipment required and
ways of
working to support safe practice. 
It is anticipated that this guideline will compliment the WHO
and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) program.  Part of this
effort should result in a collation of WFSA /
WHO materials for teaching.  Anaesthesia
training curricula will be reviewed to look for best practice for good
training.  Minimum standards for
training in anaesthesia will be developed.  Improvements in
training methods will be coordinated with
WHO. The WFSA has some experience with training master-classes run by
Dobson and Lesley Bromley  – “Training the trainers“.

participation of WFSA members in a
meeting organized by WHO Essential Health Technologies Department on
anaesthesia equipment, WFSA and WHO have been working on generic
for anaesthesia machines that can operate reliably in resource poor
areas of
the world.  This work is vital as
many anaesthesia machines in poorer countries remain unused due to
shortages of
spare parts and facilities for repair.

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