The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has a long history of working in partnership with the Myanmar Ministry of Health in the development of emergency management and primary trauma care. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed over 140,000 people in Myanmar, exposing the lack of, and need for a comprehensive trauma care system throughout the country. It also highlighted the lack of a well-coordinated and trained ambulance services and of healthcare staffs trained in the delivery of acute care. In 2009, RACS responded to a request from the Myanmar Ministry of Health for the delivery of a Primary Trauma Care (PTC) training program. The PTC training program started with an initial goal to improve frontline delivery of basic trauma care.
Building on the success of the PTC training program, RACS Global Health introduced the Australian and New Zealand Surgical Skills Education and Training (ASSET) program to Myanmar. The program was tailored for the local context and was initially delivered to Emergency Medicine trainee surgeons.
In 2017, additional courses targeting leadership, clinical educator skills and professional development were added to the ASSET course suite reflecting a shift in focus from RACS delivering surgical skills courses to RACS training and supervising instructors and course directors to enable local clinicians to ultimately train themselves. With the aid of an intensive train-the-trainer program (ASSET Myanmar Instructor course), local faculty commenced delivery of ASSET Myanmar to all surgical-related trainees in the first year of post-graduate training under the supervision of the RACS team. These trainees includes those training in the fields of surgery, with a surgical sub-speciality, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology, emergency medicine and family medicine. Additional locally-adapted courses have been added to the curriculum and supported under the banner ASSET Myanmar which focus on emergency medicine and clinical educator skills.
RACS Global Health works with emergency physicians and the Myanmar Ministry of Health to deliver a sustainable specialist training program in emergency medicine.
The key objective of this program is to provide training to equip local specialists with the practical skills and knowledge to successfully lead the development of an effective emergency care system throughout the country.
Some of the key program activities and outputs:
Since 2012, RACS has delivered ASSET Myanmar training through:
- 22 skills courses to 542 students;
- 13 instructor courses to 251 instructors; and
- two directors' courses to 40 surgical leaders.
- Australian Government (Ambassador’s Fund)
- RACS Foundation for Surgery
- Kimberly Foundation
- Private benefactors
In partnership with:
- Myanmar Ministry of Health
- Myanmar Medical Association
- University of Medicine 1
- Myanmar Emergency Medicine Trainees
- Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
- The International Federation of Emergency Medicine (IFEM)