Most African countries aim to offer universal health coverage to their population. Mozambique is home to 30 million people; nearly half of the population has limited access to the public health system1 . The Mozambican Ministry of Health provides free access to healthcare through public hospitals and healthcare centres. The President launched the “One District, One Hospital” initiative2 in 2019 to establish well-equipped hospitals in 154 districts over a period of five years.
As a Mozambican medical doctor, I believe that all health sector stakeholders need to contribute to this national objective. From our local expertise at International SOS, we have identified an opportunity to support capacity building in emergency skills within public health facilities. This is critical to save lives considering that strokes and road injuries are both in the top 10 causes of deaths3.
At International SOS, we have been supporting clients in Mozambique for over 20 years. Our clients’ people often work in high-risk environments and we ensure that our team can respond to any medical emergency. International SOS provides medical training of international standards to its medical personnel, including emergency skills.
We therefore decided to leverage our expertise to support capacity building by enhancing emergency medical skills training. International SOS collaborated with the Mozambican Ministry of Health, National Directorate of Medical Assistance, to offer accredited emergency training to their healthcare professionals. As such, we have been providing emergency medicine courses to Mozambican doctors and nurses working at the public central hospitals of Maputo and Pemba, since 2020. Healthcare professionals from the central hospitals of Quelimane, Nampula and Beira will also be trained this year.
These courses are certified by the American Heart Association (AHA). They include Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) skills. Training is delivered by our BLS and ACLS instructors at our two training centres in Maputo and Pemba. So far, 22 healthcare professionals (doctors and nurses included) have benefited from this training.
We know that those who have been trained are now able to save more lives and can also share their acquired knowledge with their peers. The programme will continue in Mozambique and International SOS is also rolling it out in other African countries where we are operating.