Specialist medical training for armed forces

A long-standing relationship between the Defence Force and the German Armed Forces Technical Advisory Group (GAFTAG), took another step last week with the signing of a three-year contract with a local specialist medical training organisation, ATA International, to train members of the armed forces to deal with medical emergencies, and to provide general medical care. GAFTAG is the implementing agency while the Ministry of Defence represents the medical services division of the Namibian Defence Force.
GAFTAG has advised the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) on various projects since independence. The current projects are medically orientated advances and involves the further education and training of NDF soldiers.
In the beginning of this year, Christian Avendano and Helge Timm of the GAFTAG team approached Mr Fabian Martens from ATA International Namibia to assist with their endeavour to improve medical training for the medical personnel of the armed forces.
ATA International is a service and training provider for Medicine and Occupational Health & Safety with national and international accreditation.
At the initial meeting various options were discussed and a solution was offered by ATA International Training (SA) in conjunction with ATA International Namibia. It was then decided that the bulk of the training will take place in South Africa with a view to qualifying soldiers as instructors for a future military medical training school.
The training will consist of specialization for nurses in the fields of “Trauma & Emergency”, “Anaesthetic & Recovery Room”, “Infection Control”, “Orthopaedic”, “Critical Care” and “Theatre & Operating Nursing”.
In terms of pre-hospital care, a National Diploma for Paramedics and a Practical Experience Training was identified and accepted. This highly skilled training is offered via ATA International Training in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg, the Netcare Hospital Group and Netcare 911 Emergency Medical Services in Johannesburg.
The training programme for selected soldiers starts in January 2017 and will conclude in 2019.
Intense selection processes are currently underway in Windhoek to find the best candidates to help them prepare for the various medical and nursing courses.
After the selection, the designated soldiers will first undergo practical training at various hospital in Windhoek, and then receive further training from the paramedics at Lifelink Emergency Rescue Services.
The project is supported by the German Government to upgrade the training skills of the NDF. It is a continuation of the Mobile Field Hospital project. The Mobile Field Hospital was a former project of GAFTAG which was transferred to the NDF in 2012.

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