Inaugural VAST Course Ethiopia

Our team was invited to deliver the VAST in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a mixed group of anesthesia residents, NPAs, surgical trainees and nurses. This course stems from the ongoing link between CASIEF and anaesthesia training in Ethiopia. We had planned a two-day facilitator course, to prepare local leaders to run future courses, before launching into the VAST Course itself. We were delighted to find the local team had gathered the necessary equipment and arranged a bright, cheery space in the hospital simulation centre for the course.

We quickly recognized that we were working with a talented group of trainee facilitators: three strong women anesthesia department leaders (Mahder, Fetiya and Mahelet) and a senior resident (Destaalem). Before long, we were functioning as a well-practiced team and ready for the course proper.

The course participants had no experience with simulation other than using task trainers for skill acquisition. They were initially very quiet, and our team started wondering how the rest of the course would unfold. We did our best to create a supportive environment, used demonstration as much as needed, and encouraged translation to Amharic to be sure everyone understood. The inbuilt flexibility of simulation and the VAST scenario design was a great help. Soon people bought into the role-play and debriefings. Scenarios increased in complexity and on day three we saw some excellent performance in complex situations. Participant feedback was exceptional with many requests for “more often”, “include more of the team”, and “come again”.


Please see below a sample of the some of the comments and reflections on the course:

  • You have a great ability to make things easy, simple to understand
  • I am sure I will not forget most vital events, as they are imprinted in my memory
  • Non-technical skills will help the staff to do technical skills effectively
  • Please train other senior consultants and residents to change tradition which can also be continued by local trainers
  • It was interesting. Thank you for your time and energy. I hope you will come up with more training for us.