Nurse Anesthesia Project Guinea

Canadian Program

Contributing to medical capacity building is an essential part of Mercy Ships Canada’s work. For example, a Canadian project seeks to enhance Gamal University’s teaching program for nurse anesthesia students by providing supplies and materials and improving the instructor’s credentials. The 2021 project builds upon successful past local partnerships efforts by Mercy Ships.

Dr Pierre M'Pele

Project Need

According to the World Federation of Anaesthesia, the minimum safety requirements are five (5) anesthetists per 100,000 inhabitants. Therefore, for Guinea, 600 people would need to be trained by 2030, which corresponds to 50 anesthetists per year. At this rate, Guinea is challenged to obtain the necessary educational scholarships and student enrolment to teach the people urgently needed in the country. Guinea currently has 12 anesthesiologists and 49 senior anesthesia technicians. However, of those 49, only 12 will be active by the end of 2022 due to age and years of service in the public system.


Mercy Ship's Partnerships in Guinea

Mercy Ships works at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Guinea collaborating closely with various governmental departments to continue post-ship activities and maintaining a supportive relationship for goals identified with project partners and key stakeholders. L’Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry (Gamal University) is the largest university in Guinea and is located in the capital city of Conakry. Gamal University issues a three-year license to the anesthesia program under the Faculty of Medicine.


Mercy Ships Canada 2021 Project Overview

Financial support from Mercy Ships Canada at the nurse anesthesia school will help provide the following infrastructure, equipment, and textbooks:

  • Two dedicated classrooms for nurse anesthesia.
  • Simulation lab (three times larger than the current size) can accommodate an entire class of students (up to 25 students) and the necessary simulation equipment. 
  • Two video laryngoscopes so teachers can better evaluate and train students for intubation in the simulation lab.
  • Topic-specific medical textbooks necessary on pediatric anesthesia and medical emergencies.

Also, Guinean doctor Dr. Joseph Donamou will complete the professorship training and commence exam preparation in 2022. 


Anticipated 2021 Project Impacts

Short-term indicators of success include the equipment being procured, purchased, and delivered successfully to the University. Dr. Donamou begins his studies to become the first Professor in Anesthesia in Guinea.  

Long-term indicators of success would see Dr. Donamou’s efforts to expand his credentials and earn the title of Professor would lead to stability in the school. The University currently relies on outside professors to maintain its accreditation and operate the school. In addition, the school would have 40-50 students per year at various levels within their training.


Impact of the 2020 Mercy Ships Medical Capacity Training Project

To add local anesthesia training capacity, local Dr. Donamou expressed the desire to Mercy Ships to have a dedicated space for the newly incepted nurse anesthesia program at Gamal University.

In response to that request, Mercy Ships renovated and equipped facilities for the nurse anesthesia program at Gamal in 2020. The work included:

  • One classroom for 20 students equipped with desks, chairs, chalkboards, & a video projector.
  • Administration space with three offices, conference room, medical textbooks, desks, chairs, cabinets, tables, and whiteboards.
  • Simulation lab equipped with intubation manikins, spinal anesthesia manikins, CPR manikins, tables, cabinets, and small equipment for training.

Mercy Ships committed to Dr. Donamou and Gamal University the opportunity for re-investment in the nurse anesthesia program depending on the 2020-21 school year results. The 2021 Mercy Ships Canada funded project honours the commitment that Mercy Ships made to Dr. Donamou and Gamal University.

Over the 2020-2021 school year, the nurse anesthesia program has achieved the following results:

  • Graduated the first four nurse anesthesia students in Guinea.
  • Increased the acceptance of students for the following promotional years:

               -First promotion: 4 students
               -Second promotion: 9 students
               -Third promotion: 14 students
               -Fourth promotion: 21 students

It is expected the program will level off to 15 students for each new class, but currently, the need is so great the school must turn away many applications.


Learn more about our medical response:

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