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Health worker Connaught Hospital Sierra Leone ;

Emergency Room Training in Sierra Leone

Cecily Borgstein

Partnership Lead, Sierra Leone, King's Global Health Partnerships

30 September 2021

Emergency rooms in Sierra Leone are not the shining, well equipped spaces of the TV dramas, where patients can be scanned and sutured as they arrive into hospital. They are wherever there is the space to treat the patient. In the larger hospitals they share their space with the outpatient departments and in the smaller hospitals it could be a triage area, a ward, or the back of the ambulance in which the patient arrived.

Emergency care may look different to the UK, but the core principles of triage and basic emergency care are the same. For several years now King’s Global Health Partnerships has been running training on triage systems like the Recognition and Treatment of Emergencies in Sierra Leone (RATES), the South African Triage Score (SATS) and the Sierra Leone Early Warning Score (SLEWS). So far, our Emergency training work has been focused on Connaught Hospital in Freetown, until now.

Mini Rates training Connaught Hospital

In October we will be running emergency room training for 64 healthcare professionals from 16 districts across the country, through funding awarded by the World Health Organization (WHO). We have a team of five doctors and nurses from the UK and Sierra Leone who will run two, seven-day workshops focusing mainly on SATS with elements of Basic Emergency Care (BEC) and Primary Trauma Care (PTC). The aim of these workshops is to equip the participants with the knowledge and skills to manage emergencies in their own facilities - whether that is in the outpatient department, a ward or ambulance. They will also be expected to share their learning with their teams so pedagogy training will be woven throughout the seven days to ensure that we truly are training the trainers. Our team have already begun working to develop robust training materials that have been tailored to the Sierra Leonean context.

Mini-Rates training Sierra Leone

After conducting the workshops our team will keep working with the 64 healthcare professionals who attended, to support them to cascade the training to some 250 people across the country. They will visit as many facilities as they can to help mentor their trainees and will offer remote support and guidance to those they are unable to visit in person. This will help to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the training.

This training has been commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) so King’s will be working closely with them in both the development and implementation stages. The MoHS will review and validate the training materials developed by our team as well as helping to identify the healthcare professionals who will be attending. We have a history of good collaboration with the National Emergency Medical Service (NEMS) who run the ambulance service in Sierra Leone and the MoHS, through our work in developing the referral coordinators network, and we are looking forward to this opportunity to continue to work alongside them on these health system strengthening projects.

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Cecily Borgstein

Cecily Borgstein

Partnership Lead, Sierra Leone, King’s Global Health Partnerships

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