Background: Current knowledge of the situation of anaesthesia in developing countries is limited. A survey of the status of education and research based on hospital records, records of the anaesthesia section, nursing records, personal observations as well as personal communication with staff, patients and hospital managers was carried out in a 1863-bed university teaching hospital located in the capital of a least developed Sub-Saharan African Country.
Methods: Classification and evaluation of the data was based on the three aspects of the role of university teaching hospitals in Western countries: (I) patient care, (II) university teaching and post-graduation training, as well as (III) research activities. The section “patient care” was sub-divided into anaesthesia, intensive care medicine, emergency medicine, and pain therapy. The Department of Anaesthesia at the University Teaching Hospital of Lusaka, Zambia, is organized as a subdivision of the surgical department and is not involved in emergency medicine or pain therapy. Thirteen out of seventeen operating theatres, one recovery room, and a ten bed intensive care unit are serviced by the Department of Anaesthesia.
Results: Anaesthetic equipment, medical supplies, drugs, and consumables are all in limited supply. There are limited statistics on perioperative complications and mortality. Anaesthesia at the university teaching hospital of a least developed Sub-Saharan African Country is severely short of both a workforce and resources.