Overseas aid

ANZCA's Overseas Aid Committee is committed to improving education and training capacity in anaesthesia and pain medicine in response to the needs expressed by low and middle income countries (LMIC).


Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and pneumonia will be the primary cause of mortality and morbidity with the Covid-19 Pandemic.

An Oxygen Therapy and Wall Chart document has been prepared which distils the World Health Organization technical document WHO-2019-nCoV-clinical-2020.4-eng for management of SARI and pneumonia.
The chart has been specifically designed for low resource environments where ventilators may not be available.

The document can be found here.

2018-2022 Strategic Priorities Plan

In October 2018, our Overseas Aid Committee released a new five-year strategic priorities plan to ensure services to build capacity in low and middle income countries are balanced and in line with current global health issues. The paper provides an overview of the current landscape including global health policy issues, Australian and New Zealand foreign aid policy, and outlines the strategic priorities for 2018 and 2019-2022. The 2018-2022 plan is centred on four focus areas of:

  • Training and education support.
  • Educational equipment and safety initiatives.
  • Engagement and advocacy.
  • Evaluation.

68th World Health Assembly

In 2015, a focus on the global importance of surgery and anaesthesia as a health priority was supported by a number of important international publications and a vote by the World Health Assembly to strengthen emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage. 

May 2015 saw the success of resolution A68/31 Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia in context of universal health coverage at the 68th World Health Assembly.

The college has written to Australia's representative to the World Health Assembly, Mr Martin Bowles, Secretary, Department of Health in support of the resolution.  A copy of the correspondence is available on the college's Advocacy webpage.

Guidelines on humanitarian work

There are many opportunities for ANZCA fellows and Australian Society of Anaesthetists and New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists members to work and teach overseas. Anaesthetists often ask for advice as to how to select and assess possible trips. This document aims to provide fellows and members with some broad principles to help with their deliberations.

Library Guides - Asia-Pacific resources

The Asia-Pacific resources guide promotes key anaesthesia and pain medicine books and journals available online to local doctors in areas supported by the Overseas Aid Committee such as Papua New Guinea and Fiji. These resources are primariy curated from Hinari which provides free acess via a log-in to registered institutions in these countries, Information about registering, or seeing if your instition has access to Hinari can be found here.  


ANZCA programs 

Through the valuable contributions of ANZCA and FPM fellows, ANZCA's Overseas Aid Committee is making a contribution to improving outcomes in all of these areas. The college's efforts are reflected in a variety of programs including:

  • Master of Medicine and diploma workshops and examinations in Papua New Guinea.

  • Scholarships.

  • Provision of Lifebox pulse oximeters and educational materials.

  • Papua New Guinea anaesthesia prizes for undergraduates and trainee specialists.

Overseas Aid Trainee Scholarship 

The Overseas Aid Trainee Scholarship supports a final year ANZCA trainee to accompany a visiting team and thereby improve their knowledge and understanding of the challenges of providing anaesthesia and/or pain medicine in the developing world.


2020 applications are now open (closes January 19, 2020)

Learn more about some of the inspiring projects from previous years:



For further information or to apply, please email us.


ANZCA International Scholarship 

The ANZCA International Scholarship supports a consultant anaesthetist from a developing country to work in a hospital in Australia or New Zealand for up to a year. The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists invites suitable applicants to apply for the ANZCA International Scholarship.


The ANZCA International Scholarship is currently under review. We are not accepting applicants at this time. 

Please check back here for further information in the future.


Learn more about the experience from former scholars:

For further information about the scholarship, please email us.


Rowan Nicks Scholarships and fellowships are offered by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and are available for surgeons from the Pacific and internationally. More information is available here.


Essential Pain Management – EPM

The Essential Pain Management (EPM) course has been developed to improve pain management worldwide by working with health workers at a local level to:

  • Improve pain knowledge.

  • Provide a simple framework for managing pain.

  • Address pain management barriers.

For further information, please click here. 


How to get involved?

Fellows of ANZCA and the Faculty of Pain Medicine develop and contribute to a variety of anaesthesia and pain medicine programs across the Pacific, Asia and Africa. In response to a number of frequently asked questions, the Overseas Aid Committee has prepared a fact sheet for ANZCA fellows and trainees interested in international volunteering. Available here.

The ANZCA Overseas Aid Committee application for project funding is available here.


Lifebox donations

The Lifebox initiative is a not-for-profit push to save lives in developing countries by providing a simple, essential device – oxygen monitors (also known as pulse oximeters). General information about the program is available from Lifebox.


Tax deductable donations are now available through the Lifebox Australia and New Zealand Project.

Please see the website for more details on the project and support being provided in our region.


The 2015 Lancet Commission – Global Surgery 2030: Evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development 

The Global Surgery 2030 report (including this great introductory video) has developed five key messages stressing the importance of access to safe affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed.

  •  Five billion people do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed.

  • 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed in low and middle income countries each year to save lives and prevent disability (an increase from an estimated 313 million procedures per year).

  • 33 million individuals face catastrophic health expenditure due to payment for surgery and anaesthesia care each year (plus another 48 million cases of catastrophic expenditure attributable to non-medical costs).

  • Investing in surgical services in LMIC is affordable, saves lives and promotes economic growth.

  • Surgery is an "indivisible, indispensable part of health care".

More information is available from the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery website.

The college supports the vision established through the Lancet Commission on global surgery. Universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. See the full list of supporting colleges and societies.


The Essential Surgical Volume of Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition

The Essential Surgical Volume focuses on the global burden of surgical disease, including anaesthesia and perioperative care (chapter 15), the report highlights that:

  • Full provision of essential surgical procedures would avert about 1.5 million deaths a year or about 6-7 per cent of all avertable deaths in LIMCs.

  • Essential surgical procedures rank among the most cost-effective of all health interventions. 

  • Effective and affordable measures (such as task sharing) have been shown to increase access to surgical care while much needed investments are being made to expand capacity.

  • There are substantial disparities between countries at different economic levels in the safety of surgical care (for example in perioperative mortality rates and anaesthesia-related deaths). 

  • Universal coverage of essential surgery (UCES) should be publicly financed early on the path to universal health coverage, given that it is affordable and highly cost effective, there is major public demand for surgical services, and these services can reduce the burden of disease. 


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