Aga Khan University has launched a series of online courses to build the capacity of public sector nurses, physicians and critical care staff who are treating severely ill COVID-19 patients.
As the pandemic rages across the world even the wealthiest countries continue to struggle to care for the most critically ill patients. Owing to a shortage of trained personnel – and life support equipment – healthcare systems are challenged everywhere, including Pakistan. Through the course, faculty are stepping up to meet the needs of healthcare professionals to help make appropriate and safe care available to all COVID-19 patients.
The course is part of a collaboration between the University and the Sindh government to provide cost-free training and technical assistance on key aspects of critical care medicine for coronavirus patients such as effective diagnosis and ways to provide evidence-based treatment.
“As the country continues to see a rise in cases, we must act to ensure that our healthcare system is ready to deal with the growing challenge of providing healthcare to the most gravely ill coronavirus patients,” said Dr Asad Latif, chair and associate professor in the department of anaesthesiology, and the principal investigator of the project. “This course will give frontline health staff the advanced skills and knowledge they need to save lives.”
The four-day programme will include interactive lectures, videos and tests focusing on assessment of critically ill adult and child patients, ventilation strategies, acute respiratory management, sedation and therapeutic options. The course will also contain video tutorials on CPR guidelines, donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and important topics such as infection control, bio-safety and rational use of antibiotics.
The trainings have been organised with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the University’s COVID-19 tele-ICU initiative. AKU’s departments of anaesthesiology, medicine, continuing professional development and educational development have worked in collaboration with the Sindh government’s department of health, Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan Society of Anaesthesiologists, and Pakistan Society of Critical Care Medicine to prepare the content of the course.