Covid-19: Expert laments lack of access to anaesthesia, surgical care

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By Benson Ezugwu

Calabar, Nov. 20, 2020 Dr Wayne Morris, President-Elect, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), says not less than five billion of the world’s seven billion people lack access to safe, affordable anaesthesia and surgical care.

“We know that globally, five billion out of the world seven billion population do not have access to safe, affordable anaesthesia and surgical care,’’ he said.

He was speaking on Friday at the 28th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Society of Anaesthetists (NSA) held virtually.

The meeting held in collaboration with the WFSA.

Dr Morris also said that anaesthesiologists the world over had been at the forefront of the fight against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said that no country was immune to the ravages of the virus, adding that the role of anaesthesiologists in different sectors of healthcare delivery was more evident now than ever before.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to make situations worse and we must continue to work together to improve access to safe anaesthesia for our patients,” he said.

In his contribution, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof. Ikpeme Asanye Ikpeme, commended the NSA for the virtual meeting, saying it would go a long way to move the practice forward.

Ikpeme, who represented the Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, expressed optimism that the conference would create a forum for participants to holistically appraise, deliberate and critically look at challenges anaesthesiologists grappled with in contemporary times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also speaking, Prof. Elizabeth Nwasor, President of the NSA said the job of anaesthetists was critical, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that members had the drive and commitment to give their best.

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