Second medical Hazmat course launched in Brunei

National 2 minutes, 23 seconds


THE 2ND National Medical Hazardous Material (Hazmat) Course in Belait will see for the first time local trainers guide medical and health professionals in Brunei on Hazmat management.

As a result, the Suri Seri Begawan Hospital (SSBH) hopes to have a team trained and ready for medical Hazmat response in the Sultanate's oil and gas district.

Dr Ang Swee Hui, Head of Accidents and Emergencies (A & E) Services at the Ministry of Health's Medical Services Department, issued such pronouncement to the participants at yesterday’s launching ceremony at the SSBH.

"For this course, we are proud that a team of 11 trained local instructors will guide participants on Hazmat principles and decontamination procedures, including the use of specialised Hazmat suits," said Dr Ang.

The local trainers were trained during the first national course held in January 2014 by visiting instructors from Singapore.

One of the local instructors, Dr Hj Ali Shahbana Yassin from A & E Services at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, said that one of the improvements in the course this year was that the participants have different specialisations.The current course will now see the locals transfer skills to 46 participants from SSBH, including five doctors, 16 nurses, five allied health professionals, as well as 20 administrative and support staff.

"The whole Hazmat response team of the hospital needs this as it is a multi-disciplinary approach. Ideally, we would want everyone in the hospital to be trained in Hazmat and it is our aim to have an annual national medical Hazmat course for every hospital in every district," said Dr Hj Ali.

Nursing Officer Nani Busrah from SSBH's A & E, who is also the secretariat for the course, told The Brunei Times that the decision to hold the second course in Belait was strategic, due to it being the location of the majority of Brunei's oil and gas, and chemical industry.

"When you have this presence, the risk of Hazmat incidents is there. We have not recorded any Hazmat cases so far but (the course is conducted) as a precaution and to create awareness, as part of preparedness should there be any major incident," said Nani.

Asked about the lessons learned from August last year's chemical fire incident, Nani said that such incident further justified the need to have a Hazmat-ready medical response team in SSBH.

"Any fire incident that we handle from the oil and gas industry is always treated as a potential Hazmat incident. With this course, when the staff respond, they will know what to do and what equipment to bring," Nani said, adding that after the course, the hospital will follow-up with a specialised drill to assess the knowledge gained after the training.

Present as guest of honour was Dr Hjh Rahmah Hj Mohd Said, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional and Technical) at the Ministry of Health.

The Brunei Times