Aimed at all who want to bring about change in low-income health systems.
A surgical team from Sandy Gall’s Afghanistan Appeal (SGAA) had visited a hospital in northern Afghanistan and reported that they would not return. They cited the lack of staff training which they considered as dangerous. Having undertaken a lot of time, training ambulance personnel and knowing a fair bit about Afghanistan and its people, I thought I could be of use.
I researched online and by email and established the kit they needed and a proposed syllabus. Kit was gathered by Festival Medical Services (FMS) almost without any expenditure. Three trips later it was a great success. All my ideas had changed and I had handed the project over to Afghans. All my thinking had been contrary to what I was taught was good practice in teaching. It worked because my students were not run-of-the-mill students.
The culture of the country meant the doctors and nurses had received little practical training, were jealous of each other and worked in isolation. Afghan medical staff are dedicated, driven and resourceful. Training was centred on resuscitation, WHO Safe Surgery Checklist, and Mass Casualty Triage. Teams were built and went through Form, Storm, Norm and Perform stages.