Trauma Training

As we approach the annual Global Missions Health Conference, I get more and more excited to see everyone together. I know we’re still in the midst of the ravaging effects of Covid-19, but I truly hope and pray that our time together will serve as a time to bolster our faith as we move forward in God’s mission. As a group of healthcare professionals, you are the exact people that are most in need right now. You are the people that can bring the only hope and healing that we need in the world – both physically and spiritually.

We’ve been talking about short term trip opportunities this month on the blog and the Global Missions Health Conference always provides unique ways to engage in every kind of mission opportunity. We’re excited to see all the organizations and agencies you will interact with and learn from. One of those organizations that you will see is CMDA – Christian Medical & Dental Associations. Dr. Shari Falkenheimer, MD, MPH, MA (Bioethics), PhD works with CMDA USA as the Director of Medical Education International. She is going to share a story with us today about how short-term trips really can make a difference. We hope you will take the time to meet many others like Dr. Falkenheimer, who can share all of their resources, time, and wisdom with you while at the GMHC.                        

Are short-term teams really beneficial?

Can short-term trips have a long-term impact spiritually and medically? If done right, they can! Here’s an example...

A US short-term medical education ministry was asked by the Kenyan Christian Medical & Dental Association (KCMDA) to provide training in trauma life support. Like many countries, motor vehicle and other trauma are common causes of death, and they wanted to be able to provide appropriate life-saving care. The US ministry sent five small teams over five years to meet the KCMDA’s goals.

The Kenyans set up and advertised the training, arranged the venue, registered attendees and charged to cover their costs. The US team taught trauma life support principles, along with skills labs and a final mega-code practical to ensure students were able to use what they learned in a realistic scenario.

A large number of participants attended these courses in Nairobi, many funded by a local Muslim hospital system. Optional devotions were offered each morning.

After a couple of years, top graduates of the program were mentored and trained to teach the course and were mentored by the US team the first time they taught it. It was truly a training of trainers, multiplying the impact of the US team. This training became the standard of care in Nairobi medical facilities. And those Kenyan trainers took the course to over 1500 Kenyan medical personnel in 3 cities over the next 2 years and to an adjacent nation.

Not long after the training, the Kenyan doctors were faced with post-election violence. They credited the course as having taught them how to respond to the resulting trauma patients. One even credited his relative’s survival to the training.

Those who attended devotions were exposed to the gospel. The Kenyan CMDA became better known and appreciated for bringing the training to their country. Remaining funds from registration helped their ministry. And the KCMDA’s goal was met – they brought real improvement in trauma care not only to Nairobi but other cities and an adjacent country.

So, can short-term teams really have an impact? Clearly, yes!

To take a deeper dive into the world of short term trips, find more resources and a trip list here:

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