In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Sheba representatives joined forces with the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet (NAVCENT) to prepare the Kenyan Navy and local healthcare workers for a mass casualty scenario.

Earlier this year, a delegation from Sheba led by Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Head of Sheba’s Humanitarian and Disaster Response Center (HDRC), arrived in Mombasa, Kenya, to lead a joint mass casualty drill with the US Navy and Kenyan Navy. Sheba’s team comprised experts from the MSR-Azrieli Medical Simulation Center, doctors, nurses, and administrators. Dr. Harald Veen, a trauma surgeon and WHO consultant, also accompanied the mission.

Upon arrival, Sheba’s team set up a frontline emergency room where field hospital simulations were staged. Over the next several days, military and civilian medical workers from Kenya, Qatar, Denmark, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), and U.S. Naval Forces Africa gathered to hear lectures and presentations on managing mass casualty scenarios from Sheba’s specialists, with participants also taking part in medical simulations and drills, and putting what they had learned into practice.

When a country is confronted with a mass casualty scenario, whether due to a natural disaster, war, or disease, preparedness is key to preventing a widespread humanitarian crisis. This is especially important in developing nations such as Kenya, where the healthcare system is already vulnerable. Sheba’s Humanitarian and Disaster Response Center (HDRC) provides humanitarian aid to communities across the globe in real-time emergencies and strives to empower local medical professionals to take independent action in the event of such a scenario.

Sheba’s Team, NAVCENT and Kenyan Physicians Sharing Ideas

Over the course of the trip, Sheba’s team, NAVCENT, and local Kenyan physicians shared ideas and best treatment practices stemming from their unique professional experiences in tactical combat care and public health emergencies. The mission opened with a Women, Peace, and Security Symposium, hosted by NAVCENT, focusing on how women’s empowerment can promote peace in the region, and culminated with a large-scale mass casualty drill.

“It was exciting to see so many experts from multiple nations come together to discuss a wide range of topics,” Lt. Col. H. Parker Consaul, of NAVCENT. “Collaborating during this mission has built lasting relationships, strengthened partnerships, and allowed us to learn so much from one another.”
Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, head of Sheba’s delegation, expressed hope for future partnerships. “I think we can accomplish a lot by working with the U.S. Navy and Kenya. Medicine and healthcare are not bound by politics and other boundaries.”
To read more about Sheba’s Humanitarian and Disaster Response Center, click here.

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