Our international work | Association of Anaesthetists

Our international work


Our vision is to promote quality anaesthesia, critical care, pain management, patient care and associated sub-specialties in low resourced environments and other overseas locations as appropriate through the exchange of skills and knowledge.

Our work overseas

Anaesthesia in the UK is safer than ever, with patients cared for by trained anaesthetists using the latest equipment and monitoring techniques, and access to postoperative pain relief. Death due solely to anaesthesia is extremely rare in the UK (1 in 200,000 procedures).

This isn't the case for patients in lower-income countries. Often, anaesthetists in these countries work with basic equipment and no anaesthesia monitoring, except for a finger on the patient's pulse and a precordial stethoscope. 

The death rate due to anaesthesia is increasing and can be as high as 1 in 150 operations in some areas. Pain relief after surgery is often non-existent.

Through our charitable foundation, the Association funds a range of projects and activities to promote quality anaesthesia, critical care, pain management, patient care and associated sub-specialties in low-resourced environments through the exchange of skills and knowledge. 


Our particular focus is on education with projects such as SAFE Africa. SAFE aims to bring practitioners of anaesthesia (who throughout the world may be doctors but are largely non-doctors) to a level of practice where they are delivering vigilant and competent anaesthesia. 

Also, the Association, the RCoA, and e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) developed e-SAFE, an e-learning resource to support education in anaesthesia in low-income and low-resource countries.

The e-SAFE educational material is available online or on a USB stick, which doesn't require internet access so is ideal for remote locations. You can order your USB stick from the RCoA.

International grants

Our international grants are awarded to individual UK and Irish anaesthetists who wish to volunteer overseas. Find out more about our grants for individuals and projects

The International Relations Committee (IRC) considers applications from members who are seeking funding for projects usually, but not exclusively, in the developing world.

The funding partners for these grants are:

International book programme

Through our international book programme, we donate books to anaesthetic practitioners in low resourced environments. A number of selected publications are available for donation, and requests for books should be made by completing and returning the book request form to [email protected]

All requests will be assessed by the IRC Book Donation lead. Where there is a request for a large volume of books to be shipped, or there is another charity involved, the local anaesthesia society or other supporting charity may be asked to subsidise a proportion of the shipping costs.

Who we work with

We collaborate with many other organisations that share our vision:


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