WHO training strengthens hospital preparedness for mass casualty incidents in Turkmenistan


For the first time in Turkmenistan, training was conducted for hospital specialists on responding to mass casualty incidents (MCIs). Delivered by WHO, and at the request of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, the training course was held on 7–9 September in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, where thousands of spectators were expected to attend the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) on 16–27 September 2017.

The course was part of a series of capacity-building activities on emergency preparedness to strengthen International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities in the country. All activities contributed to public health planning for large mass gathering events and were conducted by the Ministry of Health in close collaboration with WHO and the Organizing Committee for the AIMAG.

Medical staff working in hospitals and other health facilities do not usually deal with MCIs; however, it is important that they are prepared for such events so that they can ensure timely and adequate treatment and save lives.

The course was attended by 16 medical specialists from the reference hospitals involved in providing medical services during the AIMAG, including managerial medical staff involved in ensuring emergency response capabilities. They improved their knowledge and skills on pre-hospital and hospital preparedness for MCIs.

The training modules also addressed technical and managerial knowledge, skills and critical thinking on emergency care, and MCI and disaster response through evidence-based practice, facilitated lectures, group discussion, practical exercises and a simulation exercise (a “tabletop drill” simulation of an emergency in an informal, stress-free environment). Participants learnt new and recommended methods of triage, general approaches to deal with trauma patients, damage control and other important areas in hospital preparedness for MCIs.