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Global obstetric anaesthesia: bridging the gap in maternal health care inequities through partnership in education

Published: August 1, 2023

Categories: Education and Training in Anaesthesia



Maternal mortality rates are unacceptably high globally. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face challenges of an inadequate anaesthesia workforce, under-resourced healthcare systems and sub-optimal access to labour and delivery care, all of which negatively impact maternal and neonatal outcomes. In order to effect the changes in surgical-obstetric-anaesthesia workforce numbers advocated by the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery to support the UN sustainable development goals, mass training and upskilling of both physician and non-physician anaesthetists is imperative. The implementation of outreach programmes and partnerships across organisations and countries has already been shown to improve the provision of safe care to mothers and their babies, and these efforts should be continued. Short subspecialty courses and simulation training are two cornerstones of modern obstetric anaesthesia training in poorly resourced environments. This review discusses the challenges to accessing quality maternal healthcare in LMICs and the use of education, outreach, partnership and research to protect the most vulnerable women from coming to harm in the peripartum period.