Performing surgery requires many different parties. Each needs to come to the operating room prepared to excel in their field but also work collaboratively with the other parties. Unfortunately, the field of surgery has the potential to be surgeon-centric and important collaborators like anesthesia fail to be discussed. In this episode, we seek to better highlight the field of anesthesia through the lens of Cecilia Chitayi – a nurse anesthetist practicing in Kenya. In a country where more than 70% of the population lives in rural areas, training healthcare providers at all levels is vital to expanding care capacities. Join us in this fulfilling episode as we discuss the differences between different anesthetic providers, anesthesia supply chain issues in a country like Kenya, and the ImPACT Africa program!

Cecilia Chitayi: Nurse Anaesthetist, Midwife, ImPACT Africa Scholarship Recipient, Advocate for mentorship and improving anaesthesia supply chains






“Advantages of training and upskilling nursing staff. Rural disparities in health access. Importance of patient advocacy”

Cecilia Chitayi has trained as a nurse, midwife and as a nurse anesthetist. She currently works as a Kenya Registered Nurse Anesthetist (KRNA) in Migori County Hospital, a referral facility that serves the 1.1 million residents of Migori County. She is one of the seven anesthetists providing safe anesthesia services for an average of 250 surgical cases per month.

Prior to training as an anesthetist, Cecilia worked as a midwife at Migori county Referral facility where she saw firsthand the need to timely and safe surgical intervention for mothers experiencing difficult labour and complications like PPH. She was a recipient of a training scholarship provided by the General Electric Foundation through the Improving Perioperative Anesthesia Care and Training in Africa (ImPACT Africa) program. The scholarships supported nurses from Western Kenya to train as nurse anesthetists. She has since given back to this program by serving as a training facilitator for their obstetric emergency training programs implemented in county referral hospitals in Western Kenya.

In addition to clinical service delivery, Cecilia promotes access to safe surgery and anesthesia through volunteering in surgical camps, mentorship of new anesthetists,  and advocating for supply chain improvement for essential anesthesia supplies.