Kenya and Israel: sharing experiences in medical emergencies

Publié: 16 mars 2011 14:28 CET

As part of its ongoing effort to expand its emergency medical and ambulance services – and to mark the UN’s International Year of Forests – 26 participants from the Kenya Red Cross Society, the Kenya Wildlife Service and Kisumu District Hospital are being hosted by Magen David Adom in Israel and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The participants will attend an advanced first-aid training course and training of trainers programme that is being held from 7 to 21 March 2011, in support of the Kenya Red Cross’s goal to become a major provider of emergency medical and ambulance services in Kenya.

The programme has been customized for Kenya’s ambulance drivers, who serve as emergency medical technicians, so that training is tailored to address needs that are specific to Kenya’s context, such as climate- and tropical-related illnesses, as well as injuries related to animals. Managing trauma, shock, gun shot wounds and evacuations are among other topics included in the training. The course also includes simulation exercises to manage mass casualty events.

On the second day, the participants received a special visit by a distinguished parliament delegation, headed by Hon. Kenneth Marende, MP and speaker of Kenya’s National Assembly, who was accompanied by officials from the Israeli foreign ministry.

At the end of the two-week training course, participants will have learnt how to increase capacity by training additional EMTs, thereby enhancing the quality and availability of emergency medical services in Kenya.  Both National Societies and the Kenya Wildlife Services also shared their knowledge and experience on mountain and sea rescue systems.

Cathryn Shitemi, head of training for emergency medical services at the Kenya Red Cross Society, said that the Kenya Red Cross has the capacity to expand its ambulance services to reach the whole country, even the most remote areas. 

“We are here to benchmark our services against the best in the world – and that is Magen David Adom in Israel,” she added.

The visit deepened a long-standing relationship between the two National Societies that began in 1980 when Magen David Adom in Israel donated two ambulances to the Kenya Red Cross, and continued to build capacity in emergency medical and ambulance services.

“We hope these two weeks in Israel will help save lives in Kenya by expanding their capacity to train emergency medical service providers,” said David Abadi, the movement coordinator for Magen David Adom in Israel.