The 16th of October every year marks World Anesthesia Day-a day set aside globally to celebrate this remarkable medical discipline and the gallant healthcare providers who carry the torch in this field. This year, the Ghana Anesthetist Society(GAS), umbrella body of the Ghana Chapter of Doctor Anesthetists (or Anesthesiologists) will be joining its mother body, the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists(WFSA) once again, to celebrate and enlighten the populace on some of its activities and impact.

     Under the theme: ‘Unmasking the Heroes: The Wellbeing of the Physician Anesthetist’, GAS will undertake a three (3) day program of activities from the 14th to the 16th of October this year.

   The society has been in existence in Ghana since June 1996 and has been keenly involved in setting the standards of practice of Anesthesia in the country, formulating policies with regards to Anesthesia and the training and supervision of Anesthesiologists. GAS has also been involved in organizing Refresher Courses to keep its members abreast with the current global trends in the specialty.

           In recent times, globally, Anesthesiologists (i.e. the Physician Anaesthetists), have been at the forefront in the fight against the novel Corona Virus(COVID-19), with Ghanaian anesthesiologists not being an exception. Our members have been actively involved in the care of the critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Units throughout the country in a selfless role and have contributed in no small way to the national effort against this pandemic and helping to minimize the number of COVID-related deaths. They thus further highlighted the roles played by Anesthesiologists in the healthcare system outside the traditionally known theatre setting….

    The roles of Physician Anesthetists include the following:

  -Optimizing patients for their surgeries… both electives and emergencies and ensuring that they have a safe experience before, during and after their operation.

  -Ensuring that patients have a painless surgery using multiple techniques including Epidural pain relief for women during childbirth to ensure a Pain-Free Delivery

  -Running Pain Clinics to deal with various forms of pain-both short and long term 

  -Running Anesthesia Clinics for patients of all ages with varying health concerns

 -Providing anesthesia services to aid people-both children and some adults with claustrophobia, to lie still for certain medical diagnostic procedures such as CT Scans and MRIs to be carried out successfully

  -Providing services for complex specialized surgeries such as ENT, Maxillofacial, Neurosurgeries and Eye Surgeries among others where they play a pivotal role without which the operation cannot be done

 -Running Intensive Care Units where they lead in the management of Critically Ill Patients.

  -Leading and training others in key resuscitation techniques-Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support where patients in near death situations receive timely intervention to keep them alive and stable before their long term management

  -Ensuring that patients’ airways are protected at all times and under all circumstances.

        This year’s celebration aims at:

1)Educating the public on all the above and more concerning the key roles of Anesthesiologists and the scope of their practice.

2) Recognizing the efforts of pioneers and some predecessors in this medical specialty deemed The Heroes who have made significant impact over the years, (some of whom are of blessed memory) and celebrating and honoring them.

    The program will be as follows:

Day 1: Wednesday 14th October 2020: Media Awareness Day: Members of the society will visit various media houses (Radio and TV) to inform the general public about the Society, Specialty, the Heroes and Celebrations for the week

Day 2: Thursday 15th October 2020: Time with the Kids-A visit to and distribution of goodies and treats to the Children’s Wards of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Korle-Bu Teaching and Hospital, 37 Military Hospital and the Princess Marie-Louise Children’s Hospital

Day 3-Friday 16th October: Webinar Day: An international Webinar on World Anesthesia Day, talking, educating, correcting misconceptions and generally shedding more light on the concept of Pain and its management.