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MEET: Anaesthesia education and follow up care mission to Vietnam

The Emirates Airline Foundation sponsored travel for a team of 10 UK-based volunteers on a Medical Education Exchange Team (MEET) mission in Vietnam. MEET is an organisation that supports international health teaching collaborations. They carry out surgery trips and teach local professionals in specific skills - such as paediatric surgery and anaesthetic techniques - whilst providing corrective surgery for underprivileged children in the region of the local hospital. The Emirates Airline Foundation has worked with MEET over the years, sponsoring previous missions to Vietnam.

The team consisted of three consultant paediatric surgeons, two nursing staff, and five consultant anaesthetists. Their mission was to provide follow up care to over 60 patients who had surgery during last year’s mission, and to continue the life-changing work the charity has established in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, primarily focussed on the education of health care staff working in the region and an anaesthesia education programme.

Now in its fourth year, MEET’s anaesthesia education programme has grown exponentially. While Vietnam is fortunate to have medically trained anaesthetists, there are insufficient numbers to be able to cover all of the hospitals at all times and some hospitals have just one doctor, and sometimes there is a reliance on nurse or non-medical anaesthesia practitioners.

During this mission, the MEET team provided a week of theoretical and practical anaesthesia teaching, for clinicians and final year medical students on the topics of general adult anaesthesia, obstetric anaesthesia and difficult airway management. All of these sessions were specifically tailored to the needs of the local Vietnamese clinicians and their population, with reference to the equipment and capabilities available, such that it was relevant and realistic to practice.

“It is with great pride that once again I can report another extremely successful trip by MEET-UK to Can Tho, Vietnam,” said Lance Tooke, Director of MEET-UK. “The dedication of our volunteers, year on year and the positivity and change that they each make happen is humbling. The continuously positive feedback from the people of Vietnam and the ongoing requests to do more and help them advance themselves speaks volumes for the benefit of the work we do.”

If you would like to support missions like this one by donating Miles to the Emirates Airline Foundation, log in to your Emirates Skywards account.

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