AFRICAN volunteers and emergency workers have received essential training thanks to the efforts of the Betsi-Quthing International Health Partnership.

The Betsi-Quthing International Health Partnership is a district to district level partnership between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Quthing District Health Team in Lesotho.

Its current project, in partnership with Lesotho Red Cross, focused on training local police officers and correctional officers as first responders in Moyeni as well as village health workers from across remote areas of Quthing district in basic community first aid.

Aaron Pritchard, Co-ordinator for the Betsi-Quthing International Health Partnership, said: “Myself and Tom McLay, from the Welsh Ambulance Service, worked closely with Lesotho Red Cross to design and deliver the first responder and first aid training in Quthing.

“In total 19 village health workers were trained in basic first aid skills and will in turn cascade this training to 400 colleagues across remote areas of Quthing.

“Two Red Cross volunteers, two traffic officers and two correctional officers were trained in basic pre hospital emergency care with a focus on responding to road accidents and trauma.

“Also Quthing hospital doctors were trained in pelvic immobilisation and treatment of mid-shaft femur fractures.

“The teams involved have benefited greatly from this training, especially as there is currently no formal emergency ambulance service provision in the country and death or serious injury from road traffic incidents, industrial and agricultural accidents are high.”

The Betsi-Quthing link was established 10 years ago with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Lesotho as part of the Welsh Government ‘Wales for Africa Programme’, which has encouraged partnerships with sub-Saharan Africa.

The Health Board actively supports the partnership because of the opportunities for health workers in Wales and in Africa to gain skills through mutual learning.

Dr Kathrin Thomas, chair of the Betsi Quthing International Health Partnership, said: “The partnership is committed to supporting our partners in Quthing through co-development of bespoke training and adopting a public health minded and system based approach to all that we do.

“Through visits in both directions we learn from each other and to date our work has spanned public health, maternal healthcare, mental health, emergency care and rural primary care nursing.”