The management of emergencies is an integral part of primary healthcare. Being the first contact, especially those working in health centers operating 24/7, primary healthcare staff may encounter any type of emergency; from heart attacks and diabetes comma, to injuries due to car accidents or incidents at the workplace, to allergic reactions to medicine, plants or animal bites. Updated knowledge, communication and procedural skills, and appropriate organization skills are vital when it comes to saving patients’ lives. Unfortunately, the wide range of problems, lack of equipment and respective continuous training, make it difficult for primary healthcare staff in Albania to be updated and competent in providing proper prehospital emergency care.

With this in mind, HAP is implementing a training plan and supplying with basic equipment for the staff of emergency units of five 24/7 health centers in Dibër (Klos and Maqellarë) and Fier (Cakran, Roskovec and Patos HC) qarks. The training will be on patient assessment, airway management, cardiac emergencies, trauma life support and medical emergencies. These topics and the list of equipment reflect the findings of a peer needs assessment conducted in year 2016. Seventy-five family doctors and nurses, divided into five groups, participated in the first training session, which took place in April-May 2017 and focused on patient assessment. These three-day training sessions addressed issues related to the personal safety, assessment of the scene of incident; assessment of the patient, anamneses in pre-hospital conditions; management of emergency cases, and procedures for transporting and referring the patient to the hospital care. An important part of the training was the hands-on practice sections that followed all the theory sections.

The participants expressed their appreciation for the training, its program and the way it was delivered. “This training was thorough and informative,” said Dr Migena Brahimaj, family doctor at Patos Health center. “I am very thankful of HAP for offering us this opportunity, which is a great help in improving our skills and serving better to our communities.”

At the end of the training, the participants received a certificate and 16 credits from Albania’s National Center for Continuing Education (NCCE).