Press release | Education | 23. May 2022
New online course ‘Being a Paramedic’ for young Africans available on e-learning platform atingi
How can we strengthen the healthcare system in Africa? Paramedics can be one solution.
As a strong cooperation partner, Siemens Stiftung is committed to providing vocational orientation in STEM fields through the digital platform atingi, which is operated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In addition to web-based training (WBT) modules offering insights into the activities of electricians and agripreneurs, Siemens Stiftung has now created a third digital training course for the platform outlining the career of paramedics. It is aimed at young people coming to the end of their school education and is designed to help them make the transition to professional life in the healthcare sector.
The new training course outlines the role of a paramedic and presents the healthcare sector as a potential avenue for young adults’ future careers. During the online course, users learn how the human body works and come to understand the skills and abilities required for a career in the healthcare sector. Interactive tasks convey knowledge and skills, while a final test offers the opportunity to earn a certificate.
Video and audio formats give course participants the chance to hear from African paramedics about their everyday duties and the STEM knowledge they draw on. In a series of interviews, serving paramedics emphasize how fulfilling it is for them to save lives through their work and the vital medical care they provide, performing a crucial service for their communities. Wonder Kponor, a paramedic from Ghana, contributed to the course. “I saw a lot of people involved in road crashes in Ghana and there was no medical professional to treat them,” he says as he describes his role. “People were transported in pick-up trucks, and some even died because of the poor handling. That’s why I became a paramedic. There’s just a lot of joy in saving lives!”
Paramedics: A crucial part of the healthcare system
According to data published by the WHO, road traffic accidents are among the ten leading causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with vulnerable groups at particularly high risk. The mortality rate in SSA is 25% higher than the global average – a figure forecast to rise to 72% by 2030.1 Improving the emergency services is a vital part of efforts to counter this trend and will require dedicated paramedics. The WBT course ‘Being a Paramedic’ aims to encourage young people to pursue a career in this field and improve the healthcare systems in their towns and communities.
The President of the African Federation of Emergency Medicine (AFEM), Dr. Annet Alenyo Ngabirano, is another contributor to the WBT. She underscores the urgent need for paramedics with high-quality training:
“To change the health statistics in Africa, the space of pre-hospital emergency care needs to be filled by well-trained paramedics. The profession of paramedicine is completely future-proof. If anything, the COVID pandemic has shown us just how future-proof it is.”
Dr. Annet Alenyo Ngabirano, President of the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM), Emergency Physician and Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Health in Uganda