Rex and Melissa not only came to boost our moral, help out with Fly Me Day and support our Bag-Drop operations, there was another REALLY important part of this trip.
Melissa is a fully qualified Wilderness EMT and able to teach Wilderness First Responder Courses, the same course that Michaela and Ben completed in readiness for coming out here. The basic idea of the Wilderness Training is that 'more than just basic first aid is needed in the rural areas, especially if you are more than one hour from a hospital or clinic', which is, of course, the case for many here in Ghana.
Melissa led an intense training programme for Patricia and the AvTech girls, with Michaela and Ben as co-trainers. Melissa is our designated examiner for the Medicine on the Move courses called 'Rural Community Health Education and First Responder', a pre-requisite for going out on a training programme with MoM. In addition the girls also covered 'Adult/Child CPR / Airway management'. Not only was the training intense, the practical assessments were rigorous, with three scenarios that were remarkably lifelike and incredibly intense.
I have participated in a lot of similar training, but what these girls went through was far more detailed, and their ability to learn surprised even me! One of the best bits of applied learning was the 'patient assessment' with the aim of being able to call or radio in the status of a patient. Of course, I was asked to be blood-pressured, pulse taken and more four times! They all did what they should with a professionalism that any Matron would be proud to have on their team
All of the girls are now far more equipped than most to handle a range of emergency situations that could occur at any time - and I am incredibly proud of all of them!
Here we see the girls with their training crew - and they all deserve a massive round of applause. Behind them you can see the nearly complete clinic building, currently moving very slowly towards to completion, due to financial constraints - but once it is completed, these girls will be ready not only to use their skills but to pass them on, through the training centre to be attached to the clinic, for the designated health reps in the communities, all part of the ETCHE-Air Drop health education programme that we are embarking upon in earnest!