The International Skills and Training Institute in Health is sponsoring a team of  clinical specialist volunteers travelling to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) to deliver the country’s first ever course in Emergency Life Support (ELS).

The course is taking place 10th – 18th February 2013 and is being co-ordinated by a team led by Dr Philip Hungerford, a New South Wales-based emergency medicine specialist with many years’ experience delivering ELS courses in underdeveloped nations.

The ELS course is an important component of the three-phase program to develop the specialty of Emergency Medicine (EM) in Myanmar. The program includes the rapid training of junior specialists for EM, the establishment of formal specialty training and the introduction of EM systems including pre-hospital and emergency nursing care for the benefit of the whole country from the metropolitan to the rural areas. It is supported by the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Myanmar Medical Association, in addition to local clinical specialists in partnership with international bodies including the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM), the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM).

ISTIH has provided support for the three-phase EM development program since its inception. In June 2012 a team of doctors travelled to Myanmar to deliver the inaugural Myanmar Emergency Medicine Introductory Course (MEMIC), the first in the ongoing series of intensive clinical short courses that will provide the core training for the first generation of doctors in the program. ISTIH has been supporting return clinical training visits by Australian specialist volunteers, including Melbourne-based Dr Georgina Phillips and ISTIH Medical Advisory Committee member, Dr Chris Curry.

This month’s course will be based on the ELS course that has been run annually in Papua New Guinea since 2008 by a mix of local and Australian doctors.