Emergency Medical Teams in Antigua and Barbuda trained in the operation of water treatment, waste management and radiology kits

EMT training in Antigua and Barbuda

Saint John’s, Antigua, 22 February 2023 (PAHO) – A team from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization recently completed training for emergency medical teams (EMTs) in Antigua and Barbuda in the operation, management, and maintenance of equipment to improve their ability to be self-sufficient in emergency, disaster and pandemic response.

This exercise is part of the global EMT initiative to improve the timeliness and quality of health services provided by national medical teams and enhance the country’s capacity to activate and coordinate a rapid response immediately after a disaster, disease outbreak or an emergency.

The training took place from 6-10 February 2023, and EMT equipment provided by PAHO/WHO was handed over to the Ministry of Health, and the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force. This equipment included water, waste management and radiology kits.

Antigua and Barbuda focal point for EMT Dr. Vonetta George-Nanton and Lt Carla Thomas Brown were present to receive the donation from Dr. Gemma Chery, PAHO/WHO Country Program Specialist in Antigua and Barbuda.

“On behalf of the PAHO/WHO representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Amalia Del Riego, I am pleased to officially hand over this invaluable equipment to the team in Antigua and Barbuda which will help to boost the capacity of health systems.”

The training part of this activity focussed on providing the EMTs with the theoretical and technical knowledge on water supply, waste management and use of radiological imaging in EMTs. This training provided an understanding of how things are carried out in these operational support areas, and thus, understand the need and use of the equipment that is part of the kits received. 

The on-site training was delivered by a consultant from the PAHO/WHO EMT secretariat along with the companies supplying the kits. They provided practical knowledge in the assembling, handling, maintenance, storage and management of the water supply, waste management and imaging kit equipment in an EMT in a safe and efficient manner.

At the end of the training participants expressed gratitude to PAHO/WHO and local stakeholders for having organized the training. Although some found the training very intense, they appreciated the level of hard work, team spirit, comradery, cohesiveness that was exhibited during the training and looked forward to more training recognizing the need to be prepared for any eventuality.