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TAAAC Anesthesia: Model for University Collaboration with Developing World
Abstract Number: S-64
Abstract Type: Case Report/Case Series
Anesthesia in the developing world has been a critically short medical service that has limited efforts to reduce the global health burden of surgical disease and a key element in the efforts to reduce maternal mortality, goal #5 of the UN Millenium Development Goals. The methods to increase a physician-led anesthetic capacity of a country have relied upon sending medical school graduates abroad, establishing a local training program and importing a curriculum and faculty. The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Colloboration (TAAAC) is a model for developed world academic centres to address the shortage of physician anesthesia-care providers in the developing world.
A Faculty-wide initiative at the University of Toronto (UofT), TAAAC was created in 2009 to support the Ethiopian national health objective of building post-graduate educational capacity. Within this framework the principles in developing the collaboration between the two universities has been to support the educational curriculum of Addis Ababa University (AAU) postgraduate students. Key elements from the supporting partner are teaching trips of UofT faculty three times a year to participate with clinical rounds, seminars and supervised research and to introduce new educational methodologies in the training of postgraduate students. Outcome measures to follow include increasing number of graduates, increase in academic productivity of the involved department at AAU and ultimately improved health service delivery to Ethiopian families.
The Department of Anesthesia, UofT began its collaborative project with the Department of Anesthesia, AAU in 2010 with site visit to the anesthesia residency-training program at Tikur Anbasssa Hospital. The subsequent agreement between the two sites was reached and the first teaching trip began in October 2011. At this time there were two residents in the anesthesia residency program. With the return trip in February 2012, the two residents have graduated and are taking positions at TA Hospital and 5 new residents began in November 2011. Research initiatives have begun with QA project on method of anesthesia for cesarean delivery audit around the visit of October 2011 and prospective cohort study of maternal awareness under general anesthesia at TA Hospital and Ghandi Hospital in Addis Ababa.
TAAAC Anesthesia is an example of university collaboration that could be replicated by each academic residency-training program in Canada and the United States with a partner in the developing world. Ultimately taught by locally trained faculty and tailored to the local context, this method of increasing anesthesia capacity will improve the quality of care in the host country. Most importantly, it will no longer be necessary for medical specialists to leave their country for advanced professional training, and by extension, may prevent the permanent migration of health professionals.