Health Professionals of the Brazilian Armed Forces Train to Fight Coronavirus

Health Professionals of the Brazilian Armed Forces Train to Fight Coronavirus

By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo
June 25, 2020

By the end of July, military and civilian health professionals will be trained to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil. The Ministry of Defense’s initiative started in May, with service member-only classes. The first mixed classes with civilians started in June.

Training of professionals is held in military health units, such as at the Armed Forces Hospital (HFA, in Portuguese), in Brasília, and the Army School of Health, in Rio de Janeiro. The school has trained 472 health professionals, including service members from military hospitals and civilians who work at the HFA, the Ministry of Defense’s Public Affairs Office indicated.

The training sessions are carried out weekly in different health units nationwide, focusing on hands-on activities. (Photo: Alexandre Manfrim/Brazilian Ministry of Defense)

In practice

The Ministry of Defense offers a 16-hour emergency training, divided into two days, with theoretical and hands-on classes. The training includes pre-hospital care, management of drugs, and transportation of patients with confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus. Students advance to orientations related to the care of patients with severe cases of COVID-19 in intensive care units. The classes are taught mainly with hands-on activities.

Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) First Lieutenant Rebeca Maciel Bizzoto, a neurologist at Brasília Military Area Hospital, participated in one of the first training classes. “I believe that any doctors, at some point during the pandemic, may be required to care for COVID-19 patients. The course was an opportunity for me to keep up to date and to review, be tested, and be better prepared to work on the front line,” said the doctor, who days after her training joined a mission to provide care for COVID-19 patients in Amazonas state.

The team of 1st Lt. Bizzoto — consisting of 10 EB female health professionals — joined efforts at the São Gabriel da Cachoeira Garrison Hospital, in the city of Amazonas, on the border with Colombia and Venezuela, which provides support to the Indigenous population. The Brazilian Air Force delivered 2 tons of equipment to the hospital, such as ventilators and defibrillators, to support the mission.