The first All Africa Anaesthesiology Congress in the post-COVID era brings together clinicians, researchers, policymakers and industry.
Over 500 delegates representing 36 countries convened in Kigali, Rwanda for the 8th All Africa Anaesthesiology Congress. Hosted by the Rwanda Society of Anaesthesiologists under Dr Paulin Banguti, the congress provided a unique and valuable networking and learning experience for Africa’s anaesthesia and intensivist community after the pressures and isolation of COVID restrictions.
The opening plenary focused on innovation and rejuvenation in the post-pandemic era. The Rwandan Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije, spoke eloquently about the vital role that anaesthesia professionals and critical care specialists had played in the COVID response. He highlighted the importance of these services in the well-being and functioning of an effective health system.
The plenary also celebrated Dr Jeanne d’Arc Uwambazimana, widely regarded as Rwanda’s ‘Mother of Anaesthesia,’ Dr Uwambazimana was the only Rwandan anaesthesiologist to remain in the country during the genocide.
Throughout the congress, the WFSA was delighted to be able to support the registration and participation of 23 WFSA Scholars at AAAC. WFSA’s scholarship scheme seeks to identify and support the future national leaders of anaesthesia, providing them with the opportunity to attend international congresses they may not otherwise have been able to attend. It was with great pride that two of these scholars, namely Dr Kadidja Kone (Ivory Coast) and Dr Aida Zongo (Burkina Faso) took home 1st and 2nd prizes for research abstracts. The future looks bright for anaesthesia leadership within Africa.
Selected highlights from the three day meeting included sessions that:
- Celebrated the impact of SAFE training in Tanzania, led by several WFSA Scholars along with clinical leads Dr Fran Saddington and Dr Maytinee Lilaonitkul.
- Unveiled a capnograph selected for Lifebox’s work with Smile Train and the plans for delivery of an educational component alongside this and a corresponding research piece.
- Highlighted the impact and importance of ongoing efforts to refine surgical indicators and how that impacts on how we measure the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of surgical services.
- Evidenced the democracy in action of the WFSA’s Africa Regional Section as it successfully held two general assemblies to nominate a new interim board and agree to constitutional amendments.
Building on the success of the Rwanda meeting, the 9th AAAC will be hosted by the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2026.