This was made possible by the UK government’s deployment of its Emergency Medical Team (EMT) who have been in the country for the past nine weeks. The UK government-funded deployment includes experts in emergency medicine, critical care and risk communication and is managed by UK NGO UK Med.
It has been a busy nine weeks for the 10-member UK EMT team as they supported Kilu’ufi, Atoifi, Gizo, Taro and Sasamunga hospitals to prepare them for possible subsequent waves of COVID-19.
During their deployment, assessments were conducted in these hospitals to review their capacity and identify areas where they can strengthen the overall capacity of local health facilities and national medical staff.
Following the assessments, the team organized a train-the-trainer course on different ways to manage patients with COVID-19 for key health workers in health facilities, helping to ensure long-term impact. of the team’s work.
A multidisciplinary approach was used in conducting the training, where doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel were all involved for their training sessions. This has been important in integrating patient experiences and can also improve teamwork in facilities.
Training sessions at Kilu’ufi, including on-the-job mentoring, lasted two weeks with an extended stay of three team members who helped set up a first High Dependency Unit (HDU) for the hospital last week.
At Gizo Hospital in Western Province, a similar training session was held in the morning and afternoon for a week.
The training sessions conducted were: Respiratory Therapy 2 – included responding to deteriorating patients and recognition of acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.
Another, Respiratory Therapy 2 – including Initiation Escalation and Weaning from Oxygen Therapy with Skills Session was also conducted with COVID-19 Therapeutics and Clinical Care (Case Management), COVID Special Situations -19 during pregnancy and children.
Other training sessions also included COVID-19 IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) walkthroughs, donning and doffing and hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene with skills sessions, triage (sorting of patients based on symptoms) and the role of physiotherapy in COVID -19. These sessions were essential to protect both staff and patients.
The team has trained a total of 122 frontline health workers to support their response to COVID-19. After identifying a lack of access to information, or in some places misinformation, about COVID-19 prevention and vaccination, they also met with 58 community leaders as part of their community outreach to help make more readily available reliable and accessible information.
Three members of the team, who are now back in the UK, have been on an extended deployment at Kilu’ufi Hospital in Malaita Province for the past two weeks.