There is a global shortage of trained anaesthesia providers with great disparities between high-and low-resource countries. In low-resource settings, the majority of anaesthesia providers work in relative isolation, under extreme pressure and with few opportunities for continuous professional development. Vital Anaesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) has been designed de-novo for the anaesthesia provider working in low-resource settings. It focuses on core clinical content faced at the district hospital. VAST uses effective yet low-cost simulation methods to draw particular attention to the importance of non-technical skills. Not just for the anaesthesia provider, VAST also accommodates learners from nursing, surgical and medical backgrounds. Through the VAST Facilitator Course, trainee-facilitators are mentored to develop new skills in simulation delivery, increasing local capacity to harness the effective nature of simulation based education.
VAST is firmly grounded on longstanding relationships between the University of Rwanda and Dalhousie University and their established experience with simulation training. VAST’s founder, Dr Adam Mossenson, has developed the project with co-authors Dr Christian Mukwesi (Rwanda Military Hospital) and Dr Patricia Livingston (Dalhousie University). Testing and refinement of course materials occurred both in Canada and Rwanda, with the support of Michelle Murray, RN. Colleagues at the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors (SCSCHF) and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) have been instrumental in steering VAST’s development. Through the financial support of the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society International Education Foundation (CASIEF) and Dalhousie University's Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, VAST was piloted in Rwanda, January 2018.