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Member Spotlight: Pediatric Critical Care Programs in Kenya

Amelie von Saint Andre-von Arnim, MD, is assistant professor in pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington, USA. She is part of a team devoted to developing and implementing a pediatric emergency and critical care (PECC) fellowship program in Kenya.

After working in sub-Saharan Africa as a pediatric resident, Dr. von Saint Andrevon Arnim was inspired to make a difference. She saw children dying from diseases that have been treatable and manageable for decades. The lack of training, staffing, and facility organization in the area makes effective care of severely ill children a huge challenge.

Through the research ties between University of Washington and University of Nairobi in Kenya, Dr. von Saint Andre-von Arnim met Rashmi Kumar, MBBS, MD, DAA, who had great success decreasing pediatric mortality in her Kenyan intensive care unit. Together, with a team of doctors from Kenya and Seattle, they established a two-year fellowship training program to educate African pediatricians who serve the most critically ill children, focusing on the disease spectrum relevant to their patients.

“Despite many hurdles on the way, it has been very inspiring to be part of this program development and implementation process and to work with and learn from incredibly skilled colleagues who are relentlessly trying to save lives,” shared Dr. von Saint Andre-von Arnim.

The PECC-Kenya program launched in 2018. The curriculum focuses on pediatric emergency and critical care for resource-limited settings. Leadership and implementation science training included in the program will provide PECC graduates with the skills to successfully transform their healthcare environment for the needs of critically ill children, with the goal to make the program self-sustainable in the long term.

If you are interested in becoming involved as a trainer or help create online learning material, please contact pecc@uw.edu. Learn more about PECC-Kenya or support a PECC fellow at pecc-kenya.org.
 


As part of its special Giving Issue, the Society of Critical Care Medicine sought to profile members of the critical care community who are giving back to their communities in all kinds of ways. Are you or someone you know working to make a difference? Share your story for a future issue​