Our newsletter will keep you updated on research and training at The Baird Institute
2nd Heart & Lung Nurses Education Conference
Meet our first surgical recruits
Kenya is facing an emerging cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemic. CVD is likely to become the nation’s largest health problem in the next decade and will place significant strain on the health care system and on the economy as a whole. The ideal ratio of cardiac surgeon to population is somewhere around 1:160,000, whereas in Kenya, it is a staggering 1:500,000. Kenya is over 50 years behind Western Economies in their treatment of CVD.
The authors of The Lancet suggest that strong leaders and change agents are needed within the surgical workforce at a local, national, and international level to advance surgical and anaesthesia care and to improve education and training. The Baird Institute is not able to solve the global issue but we can and are at present attempting to tackle the issue in Kenya and by our involvement, acting as ‘agents of change’.
The Lancet article draws our attention to 5 key points in regards to global health:
- 5 billion people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed
- 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability
- 33 million individuals face catastrophic health expenditure due to payment for surgery and anaesthesia each year.
- Investing in surgical services is affordable, saves lives, and promotes economic growth
- Surgery is an indivisible, indispensable part of health care. Surgical services are a prerequisite for the full attainment of local and global health goals in areas as diverse as cardiovascular disease, cancer and injury.
Our relationship with the University of Nairobi, forms strong links to Kenya
The Baird Institute does not want to teach the Kenyan surgical trainees to be high-end heart surgeons, but we do need to support them in the development of their program at the University of Nairobi and in the development of their skills. While in Australia, the surgical trainees won’t be just operating in a hospital, they will have access to the surgical skills laboratory and to our research facility. In addition, they will be taught the basics of data collection, to do research and to develop a curriculum so that they can return home as a fundamentally well-rounded surgeon, with the skills necessary to tackle the issues specific to their home country. Surgery is an indispensable part of health care – it is not just for the rich!
The scientific future of The Baird Institute is bright and exciting and its continued success will have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of millions. We hope to get the support of many so as to help turn around Kenya’s emerging cardiovascular epidemic.