Advanced Nursing training for nurses in Ethiopia and Malawi (February 2019)

February 25, 2019
Richard Bendell

Nursing is an absolutely crucial aspect of burn care. Burns is also often regarded as one of the most challenging specialties in nursing. Unfortunately, in many resource-poor countries globally, the training opportunities for nurses to learn specific burns treatments and the core aspects of care is limited or non-existent. Recognising this problem, Interburns first developed the Advanced Burn Care (ABC) Nursing course in 2015, as part of the broader ABC programme of advanced training for staff from Low and Middle Income Countries.

Since its inception, the course has been run 4 times, in Bangladesh (2016), Ghana (2017), Nepal (2018) and now Ethiopia (2019), using a mixed faculty of nurses and other health professionals from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. With each iteration of the training, the core curriculum is revised and the course materials contextualised for the specific country where it will be delivered. The course itself is highly practical and hands-on with a focus on group work, interactive case studies and problem-solving. A combination of local instructors and international faculty enables the team to overcome any language barriers that could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the teaching for some participants.

A total of 33 nurses participated in the programme, which was held at Yekatit-12 Hospital in Addis Ababa, where one of the two main government burn units is based. 24 nurses from across Ethiopia received training, including staff from AABET, Yekatit, Alert and other services in Addis, as well as regional units in a number of other cities such as Jimma, Gondar, Mekelle, Harer and Hawassa. 6 nurses attended from the 3 main units at Central Hospitals in Malawi, in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu. The programme was also attended by 3 nurses from the International Committee of the Red Cross, working in Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Gaza strip.

Interburns would like to thank the fantastic team (pictured below) who made up the faculty for the ABC Nursing with a mixture of nursing, nutrition, therapy and programmes expertise. The mixed team comes from the UK, France, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nepal and the West Bank, in a true embodiment of the Interburns spirit of bringing together colleagues from across the world to share their expertise, experience and passion for burn care.

Interburns would also like to thank our local colleagues at Yekatit Hospital for hosting the training programme and our partners in Ethiopia, AMREF Health Africa, for their support in organising the accommodation, local logistics, and other support. The Federal Ministry of Health for Ethiopia also offered support for visas for the visiting instructors and overseas participants, which was much appreciated.