Members of the UK EMT register recently completed a ten day overseas training deployment to Sierra Leone in November, the first organised in the country by UK-Med.
Linking in with Kings Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), a team consisting of two UK-Med staff and 8 clinicians from the UK EMT register visited a number of health facilities with the overall objective of exposing register members to living and working in a resource poor country.
The group spent the first five days clinically observing colleagues at Connaught Hospital, Sierra Leone’s principal adult hospital. This provided a valuable insight to challenges of working in a less resourced health system, the effect that can have on treatment options and the impact on overall patient care. KSLP ran a number of education sessions to further develop the groups understanding of local clinical challenges and to outline a number of future development projects to improve local services.
The following three days of the visit were spent visiting a more remote district hospital and Community Health Clinic in the Port Loko area. The group were invited to participate in Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT) training run by the RCPCH, as well as providing opportunities for clinical observation. This training is aimed at all health workers to identify very sick children when they arrive at a health facility and provide emergency treatment if necessary.
Participants provided very positive feedback on their experience and while they observed healthcare being delivered under difficult conditions, they identified a number of positive steps being made to improve overall health systems in Sierra Leone.