Eric Russell, MD
Eric Russell, MD
Pediatric Emergency Medicine · Houston, TX

Basic Emergency Care train the trainer Belize

March 4th
Belize City, Belize

Project Description

The World Health Organization created a Basic Emergency Care (BEC) course to improve emergency medicine skills in the developing world that has demonstrated positive results, but never utilized in Latin America. We have partnered with the members of the Pan American Health Organization, the Belize Ministry of Health, and leadership at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City (the country's only tertiary referral center) to bring this program to Belize. Our plan is to roll out BEC nationwide over the course of 2019, starting with existing ED staff in Belize City. This trip in March will be the initial train the trainer course. This group of trainers will then lead their first course in April 2019. All future trainings will be lead by local trainers with our support. We have worked with this group from PAHO, the Belize Ministry of Health, and leadership at Karl Heusner on previous nation wide emergency care programs with great success.

Belize, due to its size, has no medical school or residency programs. There are no residency-trained emergency medicine specialists in country, and most physicians that practice in country do so directly out of medical school with very little formal post-graduate training and variable on-the-ground training. There is great variability between providers in their knowledge, experience, and practice patterns. Our hope is that by providing a standardized, basic emergency care course, we can improve the emergency care provided by all emergency providers. Importantly, this course is part of a much larger collaboration between the aforementioned group that involves ongoing didactic/educational curricula and an emergency triage program for physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff.

Population Served

The BEC course will initially be offered to Emergency Department staff at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City. Once the majority of providers have been trained at KHMH we will assist in the nation-wide roll out to other Emergency providers at hospitals throughout Belize through locally led trainings. Through improving the knowledge and skills necessary for emergency care, we hope to benefit not only the providers who attend the trainings, but also the patients that they serve. In addition, as this course will be locally led, we will be developing local leaders and their leadership skills that will continue to serve their hospital and community.

Expected Impact

Our trip in March will be the initial train the trainer course for the BEC program. The initial impact will be training about 15 providers in the BEC course. They will, in turn, begin to train their colleagues and we expect the impact will continue to grow. We have used this model with a previous Emergency Triage, Assessment, and Treatment (ETAT) course that is ongoing and has trained hundreds of physicians, nurses and staff in Belize.

Trip Photos & Recap

We had a wonderful and successful trip to Belize City. We taught 34 future physician and nurse trainers for WHO’s Basic Emergency Care course. With the continued support of the Belize Ministry of Health, Pan American Health Organization, and faculty from Baylor College of Medicine and Brown University, these trainers will go on to teach hundreds of their colleagues around the country, starting in April 2019. We are so grateful for their time and energy to make this course such a success, and greatly appreciate the effort that they are already putting into planning their future courses. We have no doubt that they will be successful in improving the emergency care of their patients around Belize.