Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) September 8, 2009
The recent tragic death of Michael Jackson has publicly illustrated the dramatic effects of anesthesia medicines in the hands of individuals lacking training and experience in their utilization. In fact, no American would expect to undergo surgery without a skilled anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist keeping them asleep, pain free and alive during the experience.
However, surgical and anesthetic care in Africa are two areas within medicine that are largely ignored by the big players in African health care. Some entire countries cope with zero anesthesia physicians, and a small contingent of nurse anesthetists who have no continuing medical education. In places like this surgeons have no choice but to simply appoint the most capable untrained person available to "stand-in" as a surgeon directed provider of anesthesia. The results are often so tragic that the surgery itself can be much more dangerous than the condition that it is meant to correct. Thus, untold millions of anesthetics occur annually throughout Africa's 54 countries with inadequate drugs, and equipment and untrained personnel.
This September The Kenya Society of Anesthesiologists is taking the lead toward solving this problem as host to the 4th All African Anaesthesia Congress in Nairobi, Kenya. The All African Anaesthesia Congress only takes place once every four years and this year they are getting the assistance of partners from Johns Hopkins Hospital, Vanderbilt Hospital, The Society of Critical Care Medicine and a number of other academic medical institutions within the United States.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education facilitated telemedicine presentations for education team members who are currently not be able to travel to Kenya such as Dr. Benjamin Carson (Presidential Medal of Freedom) and renowned critical care physician Dr. Peter Pronovost (2008 Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world).
The mentoring and introduction of students to the status of anesthesia in Africa is important in producing leaders who will continue to address this significant issue. After a stiff competition between an academically competitive field of medical students, Doctors for United Medical Missions, Inc. (DrUMM) has granted Masters of Public Health candidate Lee Goeddel with a Dean H.T. Sampson Travel Scholarship. This travel scholarship will provide Lee with the opportunity to be a part of an international effort to be a part of an international effort to improve health care opportunities for people living on the African continent.
The scholarship is named after the late Dean Henry Thomas Sampson of Jackson State University, whose relentless devotion to education has been acknowledged by the naming of the Jackson State University library in his honor.
Lee Goeddel will be traveling to Kenya with a team of physicians from the Johns Hopkins Hospital/Society of Critical Care Medicine Education team. It is expected that as a result of this exposure Lee will be inspired to utilize his emerging public health skills to bring awareness and solutions to the unnecessary deaths that occur during and after operative care in Africa.
Doctors for United Medical Missions (DrUMM) is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to improving health opportunities in developing countries by working with health care providers in those countries.
John B. Sampson, M.D.
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