Helping Those Who Help - CPR AED Training in Uganda
Imagine having surgery in a ward where there isn't a cardiac monitor, where CPR is taught ‘in theory,’ and the closest AED might be in another country. In some parts of Uganda, that is the best that healthcare can offer. A stark contrast to even the worst healthcare settings here in the U.S.
It’s good to know there is a small team of people who are making a big difference. Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano has had a relationship with two Calvary pastors in Uganda for quite some time and have done trips in the past to help support their communities.
In December, EMS Safety was contacted by Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano for some immediate help with CPR AED training on their upcoming mission to Uganda. In addition to teaching CPR AED to hospital staff, Calvary’s mission on this trip included providing medical outreach, helping paint a new hospital, leading prayer and ministry outreach teams, and teaching at local churches. The mission team of 20 was scheduled to be in country on January 4th and their plan was to hit the ground running!
We had a short amount time to make something very special happen. Feeling excited about such a worthwhile mission, we went right to work.
EMS Safety donated Instructor Manuals, DVDs and workbooks, as well as CPR and First Aid training supplies. Then we rolled up our sleeves to customize Instructor and provider training resources to fit the mission profile: limited time, few words, little technology and lots of practice. We worked with experienced operators who had been on the ground in Uganda. We needed to understand the needs and capabilities of the Instructors and students they would be training. Together, EMS Safety and Calvary Chapel created a competency-focused curriculum that reduced the course to its most critical elements.
The immediate CPR AED training results were astonishing.
In less than 2 weeks, Calvary Chapel’s team was able to train over 75 Instructors and even more responders throughout Central and Northern Uganda. The mission’s operators said the Ugandans were hungry for learning and treated education with great respect. The course participants included doctors, nurses, technicians, and tribal health practitioners. An entire police department was trained in compression-only CPR under a tree outside the station! When they departed, Calvary Chapel’s team left behind their shared knowledge, the donated training resources and a few AEDs at the hospitals which received training. Each of those who were trained agreed to carry their knowledge out to the surrounding clinics and districts.
The absolute best result was sent in an email to Calvary Chapel’s pastor from a very grateful doctor in Northern Uganda. The doctor said they were performing surgery on a 66-year-old female when her heart stopped. They were able to revive her with CPR and the AED. He said she was alive today only because of the training they received and the AED that was donated.
EMS Safety would like to thank Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano for the opportunity to help with such an important mission. We’ll update our readers further as additional people and donations head for Uganda.