Global CALS (Comprehensive Advanced Life Support) is a program that is developing to take emergency care training to areas of the world that have fewer health care resources.
The idea of a global version of CALS began in Kenya in 2004, and meetings continued to 2009 with the Ministry of Health and various stakeholders. Dr. Bruce Dahlman helped organize a Global CALS Committee and started searching for funding, but the project remained more an idea and a vision than an actual project.
In early 2014, Carlyle Schlabach and Chad Bates traveled to Northern Haiti and found great interest to support Haitian physicians and nurses in their work. The Minister of Health for the North Department of Haiti supported the idea, as did Kari Lappe, Executive Director of CALS, and Dr. Galit Sacijiu, President of Haiti Medical Education Project. Those interested in bringing CALS to Haiti joined forces with Dr. Dahlman, Dr. Benjamin Wachira and others hoping to bring CALS to Kenya and the project moved forward.
Health care workers from the United States, Kenya and Haiti converged in Minneapolis in October 2014 for a global CALS kickoff, and were trained to become CALS providers and instructors. The group began to develop a new global CALS curriculum, modified for front line global providers with limited resources. A curriculum committee focused on a Global Comprehensive Basic Life Support course as a first major step.
The Global CBLS course will teach life support without endotracheal intubation, cardiac monitoring or cardioversion. It will assume the availability of drugs and equipment that are commonly available to the front line global provider.
The global CALS curriculum committee hopes to develop a more advanced course, Global Comprehensive Advanced Life Support, that may include teaching modules on intubation, cardioversion, ultrasound and the like, to expand the skill and resources of global providers who have more resources at hand.
Global CALS has been funded by a grant from MAFP foundation and individual contributions. We are relying on volunteers and small donations. Our strength is in the passion, hard work and sacrifice of our committee members, instructors and supporters. Like the health care workers in global committees, we improvise and make do.
Our hope is to finish the first complete draft of the global CBLS curriculum by March 31, 2015. The curriculum will be translated to French and presented in a pilot course in May 2015.
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