Reinvention of an academic anaesthesiology department during the COVID-19 pandemic; comparisons with lower resource environments

  • Z W Ngumi University of Nairobi


This edition of the journal includes a paper that outlines how an academic department of anaesthesia in a well-resourced environment (United States) refashioned itself to respond to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.1 This refashioning acknowledges the responsibility of academic departments of anaesthesia to train anaesthesiologists and simultaneously offer clinical care to patients during a pandemic. Since being declared an international healthcare emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus 2019 (SARS-COV-2) pandemic has spread across the globe, overwhelming healthcare systems by causing high rates of critical illness. This has resulted in drastic changes in the daily life and routine of healthcare workers. Healthcare systems have had to adapt to a new normal in terms of workforce safety, staff redeployment, shortages in human resources, medical supplies and restructuring of the workplace. Academic anaesthesia departments across the globe have similar experiences, but their needs have varied.2 As of 16 May 2021, the global COVID-19 infections stood at 163 711 858 infections, 143 325 004 recoveries and 3 393 270 deaths. 102 481 patients are in a serious and critical condition. In Africa, there are 4 730 374 cases of infection with 4 262 058 recoveries and 126
652 deaths.3,4

Author Biography

Z W Ngumi, University of Nairobi

Chair, Department of Anaesthesia, University of Nairobi School of Medicine, Kenya