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National Emergency Medical Team Training for National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (5-8 September 2016, Fuzhou, China)

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National Emergency Medical Team Training for National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (5-8 September 2016, Fuzhou, China)

The first of a series of Emergency Medical Team (EMT) trainings in China was successfully held on the 5 – 8 September 2016 in Fuzhou, Fujian. The training was led and organized by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (NHFPC) and national experts, and was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Representatives from the University of Manchester (UoM) and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI) supported the training by developing course material and facilitating the delivery of the training. Amongst attendance were the 37 Chinese national EMTs, some of which were already WHO officially classified (i.e. Shanghai East Hospital), and some are pending classification.


This training was organized as one of the activities within the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between HKJCDPRI and  UoM. HKJCDPRI will facilitate overall capacity building of Chinese national EMTs in this 3-year project, and will be looking to expand into surrounding countries in the Asian-Pacific region.


The purpose of this training was to build response capacity in deployments in the context of natural and manmade disasters for both national and international missions, through the identification of minimum standards, best practice, and standard field operating procedures in interactive and stimulating brainstorming.


The training was divided into two parts, national and international training. HKJCDPRI and WHO were co-organisers of the international training, with Prof Tony Redmond of UoM and Dr Roy Cosico of WHO as the main speakers of the international sector of the training. HKJCDPRI was in charge of coordinating the training, facilitating during the group discussions, and was also the lead for the table top exercise where all materials learnt throughout the training were summarized into an interactive role-play simulation.


The national training included the following speakers: Prof Liu Zhongmin from Shanghai East Hospital speaking on the development and experience of the Shanghai East Hospital EMT; Dr Liu Kejia from Chongqing Health and Family Planning Commission speaking on preparation of national deployment using the experience of 2013 Lushan Earthquake; Prof Lu Lin from Yunnan Health and Family Planning Commission speaking on an infectious disease field deployment, using the 2015 Nepal Earthquake; and Dr Ma Hong from Peking University Institute of Mental Health, speaking on the mental health of EMTs.


Group photo of the organising team and teaching team


The training was ordered according to the phases of deployment: pre-deployment, during deployment and post-deployment, and started with an overview of the UK system of EMTs, where much of its training is done by the UK-Med. The international part of the training was followed by a session on the different aspects in the preparation of deployment; how to perform a needs assessment using WHO’s Health Resources Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS); and finished up with the steps in properly exiting the field.


The training ended with an extra session with the EMTs that are pending classification, where they received a more in-depth and international view of the WHO EMT initiative, a global view of the development of EMTs, and had the opportunity for a more intimate discussion with the international experts. Topics included the United Nations (UN) system, and the Virtual On-site Operations Coordination Centre (VOSOCC) used by many international EMTs.


The overall feedback of the training was excellent, with the participants requesting for more such kinds of training, as the discussions served as a form of stimulation for more realistic scenarios, hence enabling a more pragmatic approach in training for deployment.


Prof Tony Redmond giving feedback during one of the discussion sessions


Mr Chiu Cheuk Pong, a working group member of HKJCDPRI facilitating the discussion

The HKJCDPRI has been supporting the work of the WHO Global EMT initiative by developing training and capacity building programmes to professionalise EMTs, including trainings in accordance with the WHO guidelines and standards for the classification of EMTs. Since August 2015, the HKJCDPRI has contributed expertise to various WHO EMT meetings, development of training curriculum and classification of teams, with a focus on China, including Hong Kong. For more information about WHO EMT Global Initiative, please contact us at [email protected] or 2871 8507, or visit: