Phoebe Khagame – #BeBoldForChange

When you were growing up what did you want to be?

Interestingly, up to after my O-levels, I wanted to be a doctor, specifically a gynaecologist. Well, I guess I got the easier way into medicine by working with medics, if this counts.

What motivated you to get involved with Kenya Society of Anaesthesiologists?

I got involved with KSA by mere coincidence, which I like to think is beyond chance, taking into account that this is my sixth (6th) year with the society. Professionally, I found myself and calling at KSA. My being with KSA is driven by the results of projects initiated and completed successfully, which go a long way in making a great difference and facilitate improvement in healthcare, through provision of knowledge and/or equipment.

What do you do during a typical day at the office?

I start by reviewing of the previous day’s to do list and reprioritize it for the day, answer emails and work on the current project(s). In the background, meeting and communication with stakeholders and ensuring that KSA members are up to date with various opportunities and fora for them to avail themselves of.

The theme for IWD this year is ‘Be Bold For Change’, how have you been bold for safer surgery/anaesthesia?

I wouldn’t take any credit from the gasmen and women who do the real job, but I am fortunate, this year, to have the opportunity to work with KSA on advocating for a national anaesthesia care plan and rationalize of anaesthetic providers staffing, as well as working with members and partners to create more training opportunities in Kenya.

I am also delighted to be working with the College of Anaesthesiologists of East Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA) on finally launching the postgraduate education program in anaesthetic care, training and research throughout the region of East, Central and Southern Africa.

Why is surgery and anaesthesia important for women’s health?

Especially in Africa and developing countries where women’s health is below par due to sociocultural practices, it is essential that surgery and anaesthesia are not only accessible, but affordable as well.

In maternal health and cases of a complicated pregnancies that result in CS, the anaesthetist is crucial pre, intra and perioperatively in ensuring the wellbeing of mother and child. I am grateful, that partners like AAGBI, WFSA and Lifebox, have enabled KSA to carry out trainings that promote safe anaesthesia and address issues that contribute to maternal and infant mortality.