A senior staff delegation from the Ruth Rappaport Children's Hospital at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel, recently visited Nakuru, Kenya, where they held an advanced CPR course for local medical and nursing staff.

The course, which included lectures, simulations and individual training, was conducted through the mediation and initiative of Prof. Ruth Margalit, who is responsible for Global Medicine at the Technion -Israel Institute of Technology.

"In the past, we held similar courses in Romania, which were very successful," said Prof. Itay Shavit, director of the Rambam Medical Center’s Pediatric Emergency Department, and head of the medical team.

"When we accepted the proposal to hold the course in Africa, we did not hesitate for a moment. Knowledge and skills help save lives in places where the need is greatest, " said Dr. Hadas Levin Kanani, a senior Rambam Hospital ER physician who took part in the training.

The Israeli group brought medical equipment and sophisticated simulation dolls to the train the local teams.

"It's very important to understand what we were up against," said Prof. Shavit. "Once we understood the gaps and where the emphasis should be placed, we adapted the protocols to the needs of the teams we trained. It was not a simple challenge. "

"Through Israeli eyes, it is hard to imagine how quality medicine can be given to patients in the hospitals in rural Kenya. The infrastructure is old or non-existent, there is a great shortage of basic medical equipment, medicine and manpower, doctors are almost non-existent and most of the work is done by nurses. However, we came to improve the situation."

The Rambam team taught doctors and nurses how to maintain the cleanliness of the CPR equipment, case management, as well as how to manage division and pace of the work, basic and advanced resuscitation methods and how to use equipment that the local teams had never encountered before.

“Their response and curiosity was amazing," said Nurse Idelman. " At first, they were hesitant and embarrassed, but from moment to moment we saw how swiftly they learned the methods and the stages and improved. Because the gaps are great, the challenge is great, but it was exciting to see how quickly the changes were made and how easy it is to make a difference.”

"The plan is to continue these training in Africa on a regular basis and to reach any place where we and our experience can help," concluded Idelman.

"The dedicated health care professionals of Rambam Medical Center not only exemplify the best of Israeli medical expertise, but the highest humanitarian values of global citizenship," said Rick Hirschhaut, National Executive Director of American Friends of Rambam Medical Center.

"Working in partnership, the Israeli and Kenyan teams share a singular purpose – to assure quality health care for the countless young lives that may be saved because of this training."

Rambam professionals guide the local teams in Nakuru, Kenya.
Rambam professionals guide the local teams in Nakuru, Kenya.Courtesy of Rambam