The course was part of the five-phase ITLS program conducted by the Global Peace Operations Initiative, a U.S. government-funded security assistance program intended to enhance international capacity to effectively conduct United Nations and regional peace support operations.
Ho Chi Minh City-based 175 Military Hospital and experts from the U.S. Army National Guard forces and the Defense Institute for Medical Operations awarded the ITLS certificates to the trainees at a ceremony held on Friday, when the course ended.
The 46 trainees included 33 medics from Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation No. 5, who will be sent to South Sudan to join United Nations peacekeeping operations in the future, and 13 doctors and nurses from Ho Chi Minh City-based 175 Military Hospital under the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense.
The trainees have been equipped with necessary knowledge and skills in advanced trauma first aid, among other expertise.
The program also enabled six Vietnamese ITLS instructors, who have previously been trained, to improve themselves by accessing American instructors’ pedagogical methods in order to act as certified ITLS instructors.
The course’s American lecturers have suggested that two excellent trainees of the course be given additional training to become official ITLS trainers who will train local medical personnel.
The two medics are Dr. Tran Thi Hai Anh, from the intensive care unit of 175 Military Hospital, and nurse Huynh Truong Thi My Le, from the hospital’s surgical resuscitation department.
“The lecturers and trainees actively communicated in English during the two weeks of training," said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Bui Duc Thanh, deputy director of 175 Military Hospital.
"Thanks to the face-to-face exchange, the trainees have captured good knowledge and achieved excellent results.”
All the trainees studied in a positive and enthusiastic spirit, actively engaging in discussions and raising a lot of questions, commented Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Webb, of the Army National Guard of the U.S. State of Oregon, head of the ITLS instructor group.
The atmosphere of the class was lively with a lot of laughter, he added.
“I have learned a lot of knowledge on trauma care both in theory and practice from the course, which will help us a lot in resuscitation of patients before hospitalization in conditions of limited resources,” said Phan Nhat Minh Tan, a doctor at the rehabilitation department of 175 Military Hospital, one of the trainees.
Dr. Tan is slated to be sent to South Sudan this summer as part of the staff of Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation No. 5.
ITLS is useful in pre-hospitalization emergency cases in difficult and harsh situations such as rescue at sites of natural disasters or battlefields, Dr. Tan elaborated.
The course’s graduates have laid a foundation for the ITLS program in Vietnam, making Vietnam the 36th country in the world to have an international ITLS program, Lieutenant Colonel Webb said.
This current ITLS program, which began in September 2022, will end in December this year, when 12-15 Vietnamese medics may be certified as international ITLS instructors, according to Muhammad Khan, coordinator of the health program of the Defense Institute for Medical Operations in the U.S. state of Texas.
It is expected that such Vietnamese ITLS trainers can provide training for local medical staff in the first or second quarter of 2024.