WHO Emergency Medical Team (EMT) in collaboration with WHO Academy held the first Mass Casualty Management (MCM) training course in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 8–11, 2021. The training was facilitated in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) and WHO Ethiopia. Thirty-one healthcare workers drawn from federal, regional, and private hospitals participated in the training.
In his opening remarks at the launch of the training, Director-General of Medical Services of the Ministry of Health Dr. Yakob Seman said, “The training aims to strengthen the capacity of health care workers to manage mass casualties more effectively, and will help them develop their respective health facilities’ casualty management plan.”
The training aims to strengthen the capacity of health care workers to manage mass casualties more effectively
Mass casualties following disasters and significant incidents are often characterized by quantity, severity, and diversity of injuries that can rapidly overwhelm local medical resources’ ability to deliver comprehensive and definitive medical care. MCM addresses health staff’s coordination and actions in an emergency unit in the first 30 minutes after a mass casualty incident has been declared. Effective MCM is a complex partnership involving the Ministry of Health, other government sectors, agencies, the private sector, and others working together to reduce the impacts and adverse outcomes of mass casualty incidents.
Participants expressed their appreciation of the training, stating that they leave the training better equipped to properly manage casualties and save lives. Dr. Gelaw Hailemariam, a participant from Jimma University Hospital, said that the practical training has already given him concrete ideas on how to prepare a MCM plan for his hospital in addition to improving his overall knowledge of MCM with examples of good MCM practice.
At the end of the training, Dr. Nelson Olim, WHO Academy Simulation Lead, congratulated the participants on their successful learning achievement in the WHO Academy MCM programme. Dr. Olim also appreciated the collaboration with WHO Ethiopia and WHO African Region for the smooth conduct of the training, confirming that the WHO Academy MCM Programme looks forward to supporting the national rollout of the programme.
The training is part of the programme that is being rolled out by the WHO Emergency Medical Team Africa Training Center in Addis Ababa, which will be officially launched by mid-2021.