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Launch of the Emergency Medical Team Twinning project with Georgia

Following an invitation of the German National Focal Point (NFP) for Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) based at RKI, the EMT twinning project partners met for a kick-off workshop in Tbilisi on the 4th and 5th December 2019. In addition to the German project partner, Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB), representatives of the Georgian Emergency Situations Coordination & Urgent Assistance Center and the Georgian National Focal Point for EMTs participated in the workshop.

EMTs are teams composed of doctors, nursing staff and logisticians which rapidly deploy to a country affected by a disaster or disease outbreak in order to provide medical assistance. They set up a field hospital to treat patients and support the local health system. EMTs undergo a classification process by the World Health Organization (WHO) in which they need to demonstrate minimum medical and technical standards. The workshop in Tbilisi marks the start of a one-year EMT twinning project aimed at developing and strengthening national EMT capacities in Georgia. Joint trainings and exercises intend to foster the development of a long-term partnership (twinning) between the ASB’s classified EMT and the Georgian EMT currently being established. Both teams will benefit from the exchange of experiences and knowledge as well as the opportunity to practice international EMT cooperation, enabling them to support each other in an emergency. The “EMT Twinning & Training” project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) through the Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP).

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Reception by the Georgian Minister of Health, Dr. Ekaterine Tikaradze (6th from the left). Source: Elena Mikaeliani/LEPL Emergency Situations Coordination and Urgent Assistance Center Reception by the Georgian Minister of Health, Dr. Ekaterine Tikaradze (6th from the left) Source: Elena Mikaeliani/LEPL Emergency Situations Coordination and Urgent Assistance Center

At the beginning of the workshop, ASB and the German NFP presented their experiences from past EMT deployments and lessons from the EMT classification process in Germany. The Georgian hosts introduced their plans for setting up an EMT. They presented currently available EMT equipment, followed by a tour of the future EMT training centre. The second day saw an official reception by the Georgian Minister of Health, who emphasised the importance of emergency medical capacity building for Georgia. Finally, the details of the twinning partnership and activities for 2020 were set out: There will be joint workshops and trainings in Georgia and Germany, for example in the areas of mother and child healthcare or water treatment. Last but not least, a field exercise featuring a disaster scenario will give Georgian and German EMT experts the opportunity to practice EMT deployments together.

Date: 05.02.2020