Paediatric anaesthesia care in Africa: challenges and opportunities



In 2015, the World Health Organization and member states recognised surgery and anaesthesia care as a component of universal health coverage, yet 1.7 billion children and adolescents continue to lack access to safe surgical care. An overwhelming proportion of these children are from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).1,2 In Africa, where almost 50% of the population is under the age of 15, children are disproportionately affected. Without sustained global efforts, these inequities and injustices will persist.1 Findings from previous studies suggest a 10–100 times increase in paediatric perioperative mortality in children in LMICs as compared to high-income countries (HICs).3,4 While pieces of the puzzle may be missing, it is clear that not only is access a problem, but also the safety and quality of the perioperative care provided is of concern.

Author Biographies

R M Gray, University of Cape Town

Division of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Department of Anaesthesia and Peri-operative Medicine, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, University of Cape Town and Division of Global Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Cape Town, South Africa

L Cronjé, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Nelson R Mandela School of Clinical Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

M N Kalipa, University of Pretoria

Department of Anaesthesiology, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, University of Pretoria, South Africa

C A Lee, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and Department of Anaesthesiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

F M Evans, Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine and Harvard Medical School, United States of America






Guest Editorial