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Healthcare simulation in Morocco: a high-speed train!

Fouad Marhar
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Fouad Marhar is the author of this interesting report from one of the most important healthcare simulation events in North Africa: HTIC 2024 (Healthcare Training and Innovation Conference) in Fez.

On 22-23 and 24 February 2024, a major event took place for the international simulation community: HTIC 2024 (Healthcare Training and Innovation Conference) organised by the society Morocco Sim, or Société Marocaine de Simulation en Santé, at the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry in Fez.

It is virtually impossible to give an exhaustive overview of all the content presented at this event, but this article nevertheless bears witness to the dynamics of healthcare simulation in Morocco and far beyond.

The figures speak for themselves for a conference that is only in its 3rd year. The conference was attended by almost 900 participants, over half of whom were health science students from all branches of care.

The congress is a great success with the younger generation, who see the event “as a celebration of teaching” with their teachers, and who want “to see even more of it every year”.

Rather than describing all the modules and sessions available (over 112 workshops/conferences), with over 250 facilitators, I have chosen to share with you my experience of these 3 days of intense work in an atmosphere of celebration of healthcare education.

The 360° ring

This session, which took place on the fringes of the conference centre, was organised in partnership with Laerdal and their Moroccan partner Reacting. A large combat ring was set up in the middle of a large hall with bleachers allowing learners and observers to see the scene. The idea conveyed is that of a fight against death when it comes to critical situations for patients. Two giant screens completed the installation, so you didn’t miss any of the action. Over the 3 days of the conference, the Ring staged full scenarios, with debriefings by the lead trainers and discussions with the audience. A place where the concentration of the learners mingled with the watchful eye of observers ready to give constructive feedback.

The organisers talked about a “mental and cognitive competition” to learn as much as possible from this event. The Kolbe experience par excellence. There’s no doubt that the learners – volunteers from among the students – will remember this educational event for a long time to come.

Youth

A unique feature of this event is the massive presence (at the invitation of Morocco Sim) of young medical students from the conference host faculty. All classes from the 1st to the last year of medicine are invited to take part in training and simulation sessions over the 3 days. The paramedical courses are also invited to prepare young people for interprofessional work. Some of them (36 students in total), volunteers and even more motivated, represent the Task Force which supports the organisers from the construction of the sessions to welcoming the participants. These young carers in training will then be invited to take part in next year’s event so that they can attend all the sessions as they wish. The musical interludes during the coffee breaks provided an opportunity to discover some promising dancing and singing talent, with a great symbiosis between trainers and trainees. But as soon as the break was over, everyone rushed back to work in one of the 112 sessions offered throughout the 3-day conference.

The “Mass Casualty” or disaster medicine exercise

As we all know, disaster medicine is a major event for healthcare professionals. That’s why the organising committee took advantage of the presence of all the students to offer them training on a life-size case of a bomb attack with a massive influx of victims. A multidisciplinary team of medical staff, a COS (Commandant des Opérations de Secours), rapid triage according to the colour-coded classification in force, smoke, artificial rain and the installation of a PMA (Poste Médical Avance) in the exhibition hall made the experience very realistic. The scenario even ended with a simulated press conference where the COS and the media manager had to respond to the increasingly curious and sensationalist journalists. The teaching team present mastered the exercise perfectly, not forgetting the highly committed PS (Simulated Patients) victims, who were given professional make-up (wounds and injuries).

The industry

At the HealthCare Training & Innovation Conference, it’s simple. The main distributors of simulation equipment are never far away: Promamec, MHS and Reacting are permanent supporters of the event, as are Skills Meducation and Mediot from digital health. They gave delegates the chance to try out the latest surgical simulators and VR (virtual reality) headsets, and to practise basic care techniques, including the traditional cardiac massage race. Attendees had plenty of time for discussion with the industry members present, and those in charge of healthcare simulation programmes were able to put all their questions to the product experts before making their choice for their centre. 

An international outlook

Morocco, of course, but also Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, Congo, Chad, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, the USA and Canada, to name but a few, were represented at this year’s event. An exceptional remote conference with simulation pioneer David Gaba gave us a visionary look at the future of our discipline. The CMS (Center For Medical Simulation) from Boston was represented by Lon Setnik. The SESAM (European Simulation Society) and the ABASS (Association Bourguignonne de Simulation en Santé) sent their presidents for the first time, marking an assured long-term partnership. 

All in all, I think we have to congratulate the organisers of this congress, who were able to offer a high level of scientific quality in a family and festive atmosphere. Well done to the entire Morocco Sim team and its National Director, Professor Mouhaoui Mohammed. 

Prof. Mohammed Mouhaoui

The Morocco Sim team looks forward to seeing you in a year’s time at the 4th edition in Oujda, which is sure to be even more sensational.

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Fouad Marhar
Author

Fouad Marhar

MD (Anesthesia-Critical care-Pain Medicine) International simulation Expert, Consultant Coach in Healthcare E-Health enthusiast View all Posts

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