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Background and Aims I recently spent six months working at Bugando Medical Centre, a tertiary referral hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania. During my time there, I had the opportunity to perform and teach ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia to other anaesthesia providers.
Methods Despite the well-known benefits, regional anesthesia was not widely used due to various challenges including: * Lack of expertise: very few trained regional anesthesia providers. * Lack of equipment: Safe regional anesthesia requires ultrasound machines, regional block needles and drugs, which was often unavailable in Tanzania. * Lack of resources: Regional anesthesia can be expensive, and LMICs often have limited funding for ‘non- essential’ services * Lack of trust: Surgeons and patients were not too familiar with regional techniques and were reluctant to utilise it. (Gupta, A.; 2016)
Results Despite these barriers, regional anaesthesia became a valuable tool for providing safe and effective anaesthesia at Bugando. Some ways to overcome these barriers and advance regional anaesthesia including: * Training more regional anaesthesia providers. * Providing access to equipment such as ultrasound machines and needles. * Increasing funding for regional anaesthesia. * Educating surgeons and patients about the benefits of regional anaesthesia. (Mukherjee, S., 2017)
Conclusions Regional anesthesia in Tanzania was challenging due to a lack of resources, infrastructure and trained personnel. However, with a short training program, it became an essential tool for providing safe and effective anaesthesia. By turning challenges to opportunities, we increased the use of regional anesthesia, thereby improving the safety and quality of anaesthesia care provided. (O’Connor, B., 2018)
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