Our international work | Association of Anaesthetists

Our international work

The Association's mission is to safeguard patients by educating, supporting, and inspiring every anaesthetist throughout their career, enabling them to provide the best care in every healthcare setting. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, every patient deserves the right to safe anaesthesia care. We aim to promote global access to anaesthesia education by working in partnership with others to build capacity through national and international research initiatives.

International Relations Committee

The Association’s International Relations Committee (IRC) continues to foster global collaboration with the aim in advancing anaesthesia care worldwide. Whether it's sharing knowledge, funding programs, or advocating for patient safety, the IRC's work is at the heart of the Association. The IRC offers funding for anaesthetists based in the UK or Ireland to travel to lower resourced countries to volunteer or provide education.


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. 

International grants

The IRC offers grants to support projects aimed at advancing anaesthesia care globally. Whether you're providing education or volunteering in a lower-resourced country, these grants are for you. Don't miss this opportunity to make a difference in anaesthesia practice worldwide! 

Our international grants are awarded to individual UK and Irish anaesthetists who wish to volunteer overseas. The IRC considers applications from members who are seeking funding for projects usually, but not exclusively, in the developing world. Find out more about our grants for individuals and projects

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. From textbooks to educational materials, the IRC book programme is improving equity for those without access to anaesthesia textbooks. 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.


Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) is a joint project developed in 2011 by the Association of Anaesthetists and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA). The training initiative aims to equip anaesthesia providers with the essential knowledge and skills to deliver vigilant, competent and safe anaesthesia to their patients, even in very low resource settings and incorporates training of trainers to create a sustainable training model which can be embedded in the national health system.

The SAFE Steering Group is offering grants to support projects aimed at enhancing anaesthesia safety in lower-resource settings. By delivering a SAFE course you can make a real difference in patient care. Find out how to apply for SAFE funding to deliver a project.

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. Every day, millions of people in Africa lack access to safe anaesthesia care during surgeries, leading to unnecessary risks and complications. By donating to the SAFE Africa appeal, you're helping to provide essential support to anaesthesia providers across the continent. 

Who we work with

We collaborate with many other organisations that share our vision:


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