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Desert Wilderness Medicine Training Course in Namibia provided by Expedition Medicine 20.5 CME, courses approved by Wilderness Medicine Society

Course Details

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Desert Wilderness Medicine | Namibia, 20.5 CME Namibia

17 June 2012 to 23 June 2012

Developed for medical professionals or advanced medics working in hot or arid climates. The Desert and Wilderness Medicine  medical training course aims to introduce participants to the skills required for working in hot, arid and sub Saharan areas, and to care for and treat injuries and illness likely to occur in this fascinating environment.

Exact timings and prices to be confirmed.



More Information

Desert Wilderness Medicine - Course Overview
Our Desert Wilderness Medicine is based in Damaraland, an area bounded to the south by the spectacular Namib Desert, to the east by the Kalahari, Ovamboland to the North and the world famous Skeleton Coast to the west. Located near the famous Doros Crater, a massive volcanic crater formed over 140 million years ago. Our training area is a stunning region,  remote from civilisation, inhabited by an array of desert adapted flora and fauna and with some of the most remarkable night skies in the world. As a result of the recent changes in wildlife management in Namibia, the Doros Crater has been chosen as the region in which the endangered white rhinos are being released. It is a very exciting location inhabited by elephants, hyena, giraffe, rhinos, cheetahs and occasionally lions. It is almost unique in Namibia and for this reason we have endeavoured and been allowed to gain access to this virtually uninhabited area. Its the perfect location for our desert course.

The Desert Wilderness Medicine tutors will develop the skills of the participants through a combination of practical sessions and evening lectures. The days will be spent in the field, learning both the essential medical skills and survival skills which will allow you to be a valuable member of a desert expedition team. Topics covered include managing snake bites, identifying tropical diseases, heat related illnesses, managing the health of an expedition in the field, travelling in the desert by vehicle and on foot, setting up camp, cooking and lighting fires, managing casualties and evacuating them when needed; and much more. Skills without which a successful medical response is extremely difficult.

Desert Wilderness Medicine - Course Accreditation
In association with the Wilderness Medical Society we are able to offer the ability to earn 20.5 CME and credits towards the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Program to gain the FAWM degree.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the essential areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the Wilderness Medical Society and Expedition Medicine. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Wilderness Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 20.5 hours of AMA PRA Category I Credits. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The RCGP also estimate our Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Courses can generate between 10 and 20 CPD credits towards revalidation for GPs in the UK, depending on the personal challenge and impact of individual activities.

Desert Wilderness Medicine - Course Faculty
The Desert Wilderness Medicine Team has been caring for and instructing desert skills in the Namibia for 20 years or more. They have a wealth of experience working as medical professionals in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Central America and the Sahara. The desert medicine Instructors draw on the skills developed over years of teaching and being taught by both South African specialist forces, along with working as guides and expedition leaders in desert environments across the world. Despite being an eclectic mixture they are approachable, friendly and inspirational. They aim to guide you through the desert course ensuring that the content is both informative and enjoyable.

Desert and Wilderness Medicine - What to expect
This is a highly practical medical training course that will introduce you to the desert environment and prepare you for working as an expedition medic in a hot climate. You will experience first hand the challenges and some of the solutions to trekking, living and providing medical support in the desert. We teach through a combination of small group work and practical activity, with a significant emphasis on experiential learning. Whilst you do not need to be an elite athlete, an adequate level of physical fitness will ensure you get as much out of the course as possible. As a guide, you should be able to walk at least 15km carrying a 15kg pack without assistance, and repeat this on more than two successive days in one week. The terrain we will encounter is predominantly flat and hard packed, though we will cross some dunes and there will be some steep ground. There is very little shade on some days and the temperatures average 35 degrees during the day and 8 degrees at night.

We are unable to influence the weather. It is possible that there will be rain, though anticipate the days will be hot and the night times cool. Familiarising you with a hot climate is one of the principle objectives of this course; students who are able to tolerate a degree of physical discomfort whilst maintaining a sense of humour and enthusiasm will get the most from the week.

The price includes, accommodation, meals (unless otherwise stated), desert and wilderness medicine course manual and rental of specialist equipment, all course activities. For a kit list see below. The only additional cost is for your flights, hotel on arrival night, drinks and items of a personal nature and travel insurance. You can buy your travel insurance from Across the Divide Expeditions. Once you have purchased your flights please let us know so we can put you in touch with our local training team who can arrange your transfers.


Day 1 
Rendezvous with group at Kalaahri Sands Hotel in centre of Windhoek

Transfer Brandberg Mountain Introduction to the week ahead and the desert and wilderness medicine course
Desert medicine and standard operating procedures for a desert environment
Heat related illness and hydration

Day 2 
Trekking in the desert
Basic navigation
Water in the desert
Primary survey in the wilderness
Tropical medicine
Managing fever in the desert

Day 3 
Trekking in the desert
Casevac drill
Improvised carries
Setting up camp
Case presentations
Public health
Pre-expedition planning

Day 4 
Managing snake, scorpion and spider envenomation 
Expedition briefing
Trek to camp

Day 5 
Trek to and set up camp

Day 6 
Vehicle skills
Transfer to hotel and overnight in a comfy bed!
Course summing up

Day 7 
Transfer to airport 


 'I  thought the whole experience was first class and it is difficult to know how to improve it. The local staff were founts of knowledge and it was great to be able to tap into that wealth of experience'   Desert course participant

'I had a fantastic time and feel like I learnt a lot. I will definitely be signing up for more courses and recommending the courses to people I know!'    Desert course participant

An amazing course taught by a  very experienced team in a relaxed and friendly manner. Steve Clark, Across the Divide Expeditions

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