Combating coronavirus: UAE volunteers to undergo three-day training to help Covid-19 frontliners

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At least 1,000 UAE volunteers are set to undergo a three-day training that will allow them to support Covid-19 frontliners on the ground and help nursing staff at hospitals and field units.

Launched by the UAE Volunteers campaign, the training initiative primarily aims to ease some of the pressure that the country’s medical and nursing staff are experiencing as they fight the pandemic.

The campaign managed to attract over 8,000 volunteers with basic first aid skills and experience of working with teams under pressure. Some 150 volunteers have so far signed up for the three-day training, as the group targets to reach 1,000 trainees for the pilot phase.

“This volunteer training is a response to the current situation in the country and to the needs of experts on the field. The training will equip 1,000 volunteers with basic skills to help the nursing staff, hospitals, and field units in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah in the pilot phase. The programme will continue to attract more volunteers as needed,” said Obaid Al Shamsi, director-general of National Emergency, Crisis, and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).

Al Shamsi explained that the intensive training programme was prepared by a team from the Abu Dhabi Centre for Public Health of the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi.

It will be carried out in cooperation with the Training and Development Centre at the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), with the participation of expert trainers from health and academic sectors.

How the training goes

The training consists of a two-day theoretical course to be conducted remotely and a one-day practical session, said Hessa Tahlak, assistant undersecretary of Social Development at the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) and the spokesperson of the UAE Volunteers campaign.

Tahlak explained that for the remote theoretical training, 150 participants will take part in each course for 8 hours a day for two days.
This will introduce volunteers to the programme; present information about Covid-19; explain infection prevention; and cover skills in health administration, communication, patient support and transportation, and medical waste management. Participants will undergo a remote training test.

Then, the practical session will be available to 24 participants at a time, for four hours in one day.

It will cover basic clinical skills, such as measuring vital signs, resuscitation and rescue skills, and the use of personal protective equipment. Participants will undergo an evaluation test and obtain certificates of completion that are approved by the training authority, Tahlak said.

The list of volunteers who had undergone training will be included in a database that can be tapped during health emergencies after the Covid pandemic, Tahlak added.