Meet Myles – Lifebox Safe Anesthesia Fellow in Tanzania



Name: Myles Monaghan

Position: Visiting Lecturer in anesthesia and lifebox Safe Surgery Fellow

Country: Tanzania

Tell us a bit about yourself – what’s your background?

Myles leads a simulation at the workshop at KCMC. ©Lifebox 2019

I am a graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway and after training briefly in obstetrics and completing Basic Specialist Training in Internal Medicine, I decided to specialize in anesthesia. I completed the Specialist Anesthesia Training Scheme run by the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland in 2019. 

I recently celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with my wife Sarah and we have 4 beautiful children. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, reading and generally being outdoors – growing my own vegetables is a favorite pastime – although my success has been variable.

 

Why did you decide to take on this fellowship?

I was born in Nigeria when my parents were working there, so I always had a desire to return to Africa. Up until now, I have never had the opportunity. I knew about the life-saving safe anesthesia work of lifebox and have always admired the impact you have had on surgical teams and patients in low resource countries.I also looked into life in Moshi and it seemed quite suitable for families. As I had just finished my training, it seemed like the right time to take on a venture like this. 

 

How does your role support lifebox’s mission to make surgery and anaesthesia safer globally?

Myles and a colleague at the workshop in Moshi. ©Lifebox 2019

One of Lifebox’s key projects is education. It is an essential element of any aid project to LMICs. I have a lot of skills that I have developed throughout my training which would allow me to work independently here.

In order to have a lasting impact, training future anesthesia providers who will remain in Tanzania and provide anesthesia supports a sustainable future for the speciality. By training them to be careful and knowledgeable providers, I support lifebox’s goals of developing safer surgery and anesthesia.

 

You recently organised a pulse oximetry workshop in Tanzania, tell us what the experience was like.

It was very enjoyable. I had been training these students for the preceding three months so knew them reasonably well. They were all receiving a lifebox pulse oximeter upon graduation so were very enthusiastic about the course. It was a very interactive session and almost the whole group’s knowledge improved after the course. The feedback was very positive as well.

 

What are you most looking forward to achieving during your time in Tanzania?

I am really enjoying teaching. Towards the end of my training, I began to get involved in teaching medical students and junior anesthesia staff. I found the process of trying to hand on my skills and knowledge challenging, but very rewarding when successful. Watching a group of students develop and mature over a period of time is very rewarding. If I reach the end of my fellowship and feel that through my efforts I will have helped students become safer, more confident, and more competent anesthesia providers then it will count as a success for me.