The Lomé Army Health Service School (ESSAL) provides training in emergency medicine and combat rescue for the ECOWAS Standby Force.
ESSAL will host training for ECOWAS Standby Force (FAC) medical and paramedical personnel from November 29 to December 10, 2021. Organized through the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project, co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation, this training aims to equip the FAC to face the many and multifaceted security challenges encountered in the West African region.
Such challenges include violent extremism reflected in terrorist attacks, as well as epidemics and pandemics including COVID-19 which have made it more difficult to deploy peacekeeping missions. To do this, the ECOWAS Commission through its Peace Support Operations Division has deemed it necessary to entrust the National School with Regional Vocation ESSAL, which has been training Medical Officers and Pharmacists from the countries of Francophone Africa since over two decades, training its standby force in medical specialties including emergency medicine and combat rescue.
Emergency medicine is a medical specialty based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups. As for combat rescue training, it allows the teaching of techniques and behavior to save the lives of personnel deployed in missions while awaiting specialized assistance. The military nurses and doctors will finish their training with simulation exercises that allow a virtual confrontation with what they will be required to implement in conflict zones.
During his welcome address to the participants, the ESSAL training director underlined that the proliferation of security crisis situations calls for health personnel in our States to strengthen their capacity to deal with various emergencies.
In his wake, the head of cooperation representing the German Embassy, Camilla Gendolla, indicated that the current Covid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of medical personnel in peace support operations to provide the necessary support for mission staff, as well as to help vulnerable populations in their areas of operation.
As for the representative of the European Union Delegation in Togo, Frédéric Varenne, he stressed the importance of cooperation and coordination to overcome existing threats, and welcomed the union of European action. materialized by the presence of France, Germany and the EU at the opening of this important training.
Taking the floor, the Head of the ECOWAS Peace Support Operations Division, Col. Major Ollo Alain Pale expressed the determination of ECOWAS to strengthen the capacities of its Standby Force through a series of trainings in upcoming medical specializations, and praised the commitment of the European Union, the German government and its implementing agency GIZ, for the materialization of these training courses.
Finally, Col Djibril Mohaman, representing the Chief of Staff of the Togolese Armed Forces, recalled that health is what security in the State is, namely the basis and the foundation of any effective action for the development. With that, he declared open the open training which brings together 25 French-speaking, English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking participants from ECOWAS member states.
Frédéric Varenne (UE) Making his Speech
Col. Maj. Pale (CEDEAO) making his speech
From left to right: Frédéric Varenne (EU), Régis Lacroix (French Embassy), Camilla Gendolla (German Embassy)
For more info on the EPSAO project: