Building Anaesthesia Training in the ECSA Region

The shortage of safe anaesthesia providers is now one of the most significant barriers to the provision of safe surgery in East, Central and Southern Africa – there is no safe surgery without anaesthesia.

Four colleges have come together in a unique partnership programme to support anaesthesiology training in East, Central and Southern Africa:


This Irish Aid funded partnership initiative builds on the established RCSI/COSECSA Collaboration Programme and is project managed by the RCSI Institute of Global Surgery.

This programme aims to build on local anaesthesia training programmes in the eight CANECSA member countries: Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Eswatini, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The partner colleges support CANECSA to accredit training sites in the region, develop curricula and training material, provide training opportunities and hold internationally benchmarked anaesthesia Membership and Fellowship exams.

This programme is funded by the Irish public through the State's development arm, Irish Aid, as part of the RCSI/COSECSA Collaboration Programme.

Selected activities and achievements:

  • Establishment of the CANECSA Secretariat, business processes and tools
  • Launch of a bespoke e-learning platform, website and other communication channels
  • 104 CANECSA Fellows trained online by the CAI in examination techniques
  • 25 Trainers trained and certified jointly by RCSI and CANECSA
  • Development of training materials such as a training manual and training logbook
  • Development and launch of the CANECSA strategic plan 
  • Cross sectional study of anaesthesiologist workforce in the region, results published here and visually represented here.

Since this collaboration commenced in 2019, CANECSA achievements include:

  • First diet of collegiate examinations in 2020
  • First intake of anaesthesiology trainees in 2021
  • In just its second year of training, CANECSA now has 65 future anaesthesiologists in training

CANECSA, supported by this collaborative programme, is beginning to deliver a step change in training of the anesthesiologist workforce in the region.

The team

The team consists of members from all four partner organisations. RCSI programme management and leadership includes: