Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH)'s Dr Moosa Hussain, on Wednesday, revealed that 601 nurses and doctors across various specialities in the Greater Male' region were provided training on critical care for COVID-19 patients.
Speaking at the virtual conference held at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), Dr Moosa stated that healthcare workers currently operating in Maldives were given further training as the recruitment additional professionals was not a feasible option due to lockdown measures being implemented across the world.
Overall, he stated that the government's COVID-19 response efforts focused on improving human resources in critical care provision, oxygen storage capacity and the stock of other crucial equipment.
According to Dr Moosa, 601 healthcare workers underwent a two-day training programme involving written materials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and sources from other countries. He added that the hands-on aspect of the training programme included instruction on the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), ventilators and intubation procedures.
A more comprehensive seven-day programme was carried out for 11 doctors from five regions of Maldives. Participants were instructed at Intensive Care Units and COVID-19 facilities in order to build capacity in other atolls to deal with potential virus outbreaks.
Dr Moosa stated that a further 78 healthcare professionals joined online webinar sessions. In addition to himself, Dr Bruce Stover and Dr Carissa de Sanderson, Dr Moosa noted that several nurses and emergency service providers from the United States aided efforts to conduct the webinar sessions.
He expressed gratitude towards WHO, top IGMH officials, leading members from the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health as well as other institutions for their contributions in facilitating the training programmes.
Dr Bruce Stover, tasked with compiling protocols for ICUs and standardizing the provision of critical care across the country, complimented the conduct of Maldivian healthcare professionals concerning critical care. He also expressed hope that standards compiled for IGMH would be implemented in ICUs across the country.
Furthermore, Dr Moosa noted that Maldives' total oxygen storage capacity was increased from 7 million to 36 million as part of COVID-19 response efforts.
Presently, Maldives records 1,841 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,226 active cases, 608 recoveries and seven fatalities.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 6.4 million people and claimed over 383,798 lives around the world. However, 3 million people have recovered from the infection.