Oximetry roll-out across Uganda

Anaesthesia providers in Uganda lack access to almost everything that is taken for granted in developed world practice: basic drugs, monitoring equipment, support staff, continuous learning. And every week they treat a nightmare caseload: ruptured uteruses, road traffic accidents, severe burns.

There are only about 300 anaesthetic officers in the entire country, treating a population of more than 35 million.  Lifebox® has been working with the Ugandan Society of Anaesthesia (USoA) to support their activities.  In June and July 2011 we spent two weeks at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in southern Uganda, running training in pulse oximetry, the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, and obstetric anaesthesia.

Thanks to the generosity of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland we were able to donate an initial 80 pulse oximeters to the USoA.  This was followed up by an additional donation of 45 oximeters (paid for by Lifebox® supporters around the world) distributed during June 2012, 40 sent out in early 2013 and a further 40 distributed in June 2013. All have been linked to training workshops on oximetry and the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. During 2014 we will be distributing a final set of oximeters to meet the need in recently upgraded health centre IVs.