The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare visit Somalia

The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare visit Somalia

The Vice-Chair of the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare, Mr Andy Kent, has recently undertaken a scoping visit to Somalia and Somaliland, in partnership with the Trauma Operational Assessment Team (TOpAT) of the WHO.

The TOpAT, based out of the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Office, has an extensive remit covering many conflict-affected healthcare systems such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Somalia and Somaliland. It undertakes visits to assess the delivery of trauma care from point of injury through to rehabilitation and to develop and deliver further bespoke training in that field….

Andy has extensive experience - both military and humanitarian - in delivering trauma training in austere environments. He is the surgical lead for UK-Med and has previously worked extensively with the Primary Trauma Care Foundation (PTCF) throughout Africa & India and with the HALO Trust in Afghanistan. He was invited to accompany a small assessment team (TOpAT) to Mogadishu, Somalia and Berbera, Somaliland in October.

This team delivered two, 5-day assessment / training courses to selected groups of surgeons and anaesthetic staff. These medical personnel were selected by the Ministry of Health to represent the many regions in each country. The logistical support was coordinated by the in-country WHO teams. Following on from these assessment visits, some of the training team remained in country to deliver Mass Casualty training and to hold futher planning meetings.

The visit was extremely successful in highlighting the many deficiencies in trauma care which require urgently addressing. However, future planning of any training will need to be carefully coordinated to minimise duplication of effort between the many actors involved and encourage cooperation where it is possible. The College hopes to support this process in all phases (assessment, course development and delivery) and discussions are underway to organise a follow up visit – this being dependent of course of Covid-related travelling restrictions and ongoing hostilities in the countries concerned.

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