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Surgery is increasingly recognized as an effective means of treating a proportion of the global burden of disease. Violence, road crush accidents and obstetric emergencies have long ranked the leading causes of mortality and morbidity, and many deaths can be prevented through surgical intervention. Primary health care includes maternal and child health care, prevention of common diseases and appropriate treatment of common injuries and diseases including the provision of certain surgical procedures for which the administration of anaesthetics is essential. Achieving health for all requires special training to safely administer these anaesthetics and in many countries nurses as well as physicians receive this training. The need for trained anaesthesia providers is critical if surgery is to be a safe and cost effective public health intervention. In many countries including Botswana, anaesthesia is administered primarily by nurses; yet few, including many in nursing are aware of the major contribution to health that nurses functioning as anaesthetists make. Even some history books overlook nurses in anaesthesia. It is estimated that the nurse anaesthesia program in Botswana has trained 72 nurse anaesthetists in 41 years. There are no studies written about nurse anaesthesia training, practice and legal regulation in Botswana. The paper therefore, is a report that describes the history, trends of the nurse anaesthesia training program, output and challenges.
Keywords: anaesthesia, nurse anaesthesia, physician anaesthetist, surgery, anaesthesia training