By Ike Uchechukwu, Calabar
The president-elect of the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists, Dr. Wayne Morriss, says that 5 billion of the world’s 7 billion people do not have access to safe and affordable surgical care and anesthesia.
He argued that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to make the situation worse, but tasked anesthetics around the world to work together to improve access to patients.
Dr. Morriss revealed this in his virtual speech during the 28th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Society of Anesthesiologists, held in collaboration with the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists.
The conference was held virtually at the University Hospital of Calabar and had as its theme: “The Anesthesiologist in Contemporary”.
His words: “Anesthesiologists around the world have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 saving lives in emergency rooms, intensive care units and operating rooms.
“No country is immune from the ravages of the virus and the contribution of anesthesiologists to the different parts of the health system is now more evident than ever.
“We know that, globally, 5 billion of the world’s 7 billion people do not have access to safe and affordable anesthesia and surgical care.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to make this situation worse and we must continue to work together to improve access to safe anesthesia for our patients,” said Dr. Morriss.
In his speech, the host of the event and chief medical director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Professor Ikpeme Asanye Ikpeme praised the Nigerian Society of Anesthesia, NSA for the event saying that it will go a long way in advancing the practice.
He said: “Our expectation is that this year’s virtual conference will create a forum for participants to comprehensively assess, deliberate and critically view the challenges facing anesthesiologists in contemporary times.”
“Considering the era of the COVID-19 pandemic with associated uncertainties in patient management; and especially the explosion of demands and the persistent growth of anesthesia activity, ”said Professor Ikpeme.
In her welcoming address, Professor Elizabeth Ogboli Nwasor, President of the NSA, said that the work of anesthetists is critical, especially during this pandemic, but that members have the drive and commitment to do their best.
He said the topic is very appropriate and spot-on as it aims to explore the peculiarities of our time, adding that more than 20 scientific papers will be featured that strive to add value to practice.
“This year, our robust scientific session will focus on an unbeatable collection of academic papers from all fields of anesthesia, pain management and critical care medicine with the presentation of 20 scientific papers from leaders in anesthesiology and intensive care.
“This was done in our common drive to define the practice of anesthesia and continue in the ways of our teachers and mentors who have left us the strong message of working diligently and adding value to patient safety and advancing the cause of pain relief and care. of the patient before, during and after surgery, ”said Professor Nwasor.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Virtual Organizing Committee, Dr. Queeneth Kalu said that the conference is the first virtual conference in the history of the NSA.
He said a record 350 delegates have signed up for the conference, and more than 34 scientific papers and 19 lectures on cutting edge topics in the world of anesthesia will be delivered by carefully selected local and international faculties in real time.
Additionally, Dr. Kalu said that during the 28th Annual General Meeting, hot topics affecting the Association will be discussed and virtual elections will be held that will usher in a new set of NSA EXCOs.