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Ministry of Health re-launches basic and advanced life support training programme |14 February 2023

Ministry of Health re-launches basic and advanced life support training programme

The Ministry of Health has re-launched its basic and advanced life support training programme for nurses and midwives to detect signs and to assist patients with cardiac arrest.

The training programme, in collaboration with the Armerican Heart Association, is to ensure that all nurses and midwives working in the public service have the competency required to facilitate the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and avoid death and any physical or neurological damage in patients after cardiac arrest.

Successful resuscitation, following cardiac arrest, requires a series of synchronized, exacting responses, and often-involving complex transitions between different health professionals.

The cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training will provide nurses and midwives with knowledge, skills and competencies required in what is usually a stressful situation, where they have to save lives within four to five minutes of a cardiac arrest.

The two-day training which is being held since yesterday at the new Coast Guard facility, Ile Perseverance, that was used to assist with the Covid-19, is being attended by a group of around 20 general duty nurses from the Seychelles Hospital and from community health centres.

The training is being conducted by local health facilitators under the leadership of Dr Sarka Viktorova. The local facilitators received training locally from the American Heart Association in 2018 where after the basic and advanced life support training programme got under way but it was interrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time some 60 health professionals had already received the training among whom included 22 nurses.

According to chief nursing officer, Dr Gylian Mein, the training will continue throughout 2023 and 2024, and will target 200 nurses for each year.

She added that the training, to be held for two days only for different groups, will also be held for other health workers in the public service including those on Praslin and La Digue.

She said that they have started with the training for all the general duty nurses given that they have to assist, on a daily basis, patients in need of monitoring and individual care, in relation to cardiac arrest, in the high dependent unit at the Seychelles Hospital.  

“We are looking to see how we can make it either mandatory or as a requirement, for public health workers to follow refresher trainings every two years and to be certified to conduct such basic and advanced life support on people with signs or who have cardiac arrest,” said Dr Mein, who noted that it is important to have the right technique to assist cardiac arrest patients.

Dr Mein said that the ministry will also be working on how to assist health workers in the private sector with the programme.

She further said that although health professionals are well versed in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, there is the need to assist them with further refresher courses while at the same time having in place a mechanism to certify their competence.

She noted that there are 576 registered nurses in the country among whom 445 work in the public sector.

In her opening address, the principal nursing officer, Elsia Sinon, said that is has become critical for nurses to be knowledgeable, quick-witted, and proficient in resuscitation skills whenever a patient is seen to be in need of emergency care.

“Hence, this training will provide you with skills to successfully carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which is the first step in restoring life to people who have experienced cardiac arrest. It is an essential tool in nurses’ and midwives’ initial and ongoing education,” Ms Sinon added.

It is to be noted that the equipment for the practical sessions, worth over R100,000, have been sponsored by Suketu Patel.


Patrick Joubert/Press release from the Ministry of Health

Photos by Patrick Joubert        

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