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Saving Lives with Emergency Care in Uganda

ID:
2476

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Our goal
Saving Lives with Emergency Care by Training the First Ever Ugandan Emergency Physicians
The Challenge

Project Summary

Due to healthcare worker shortages in Uganda, many people die from treatable diseases and injuries such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and trauma. Global Emergency Care Collaborative (GECC) trains healthcare providers in emergency care to prev ent unnecessary deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. In the U.S. we have over 35,000 emergency physicians. In Uganda, there is not one. This program will support the training for the first two Ugandan emergency physicians ever.

 With proper training, Ugandan emergency care providers will be equipped with the necessary skills to reduce preventable deaths and improve health outcomes and lead the development of an emergency care system throughout the country.

Empowering Ugandan providers to treat Ugandan patients will have a lasting impact. A single trained provider can personally treat over 100,000 patients over his/her career. Additionally, having Ugandan leaders with emergency medicine expertise will allow for development of an entire acute and emergency care system, allowing for training of other health care workers in emergency care.

Global Health Problem

Deaths from infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, and injuries from traffic accidents are responsible for almost 25% of all annual deaths in developing nations. Many of these deaths are preventable as patients often wait for access to basic acute and emergency care.

Solution & Potential for Impact

GECC seeks to raise $30,000 with CaringCrowd for the essential start-up costs for two emergency physician trainees who will start training in September 2015. This program has been in planning stages with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) for two years and has already secured $10,000 to fund the first 6 m onths of the program. GECC is working with MUST to provide technical assistance and to fund the start-up costs of this essential program.

Graduates of this program will reduce preventable deaths, in particular, in the most vulnerable members of society - children. As one example, GECC has found that for every 41 children with severe malaria treated appropriately with emergency care, one life will be saved. Compared to other public health initiatives, this number is remarkable. And emergency care doesn’t address just one disease; it builds the capacity of the entire health care system to address the spectrum of acute illness and injury. The program will be run by Ugandan faculty and administration, therefore making it completely sustainable, with additional technical assistance provided by GECC expert emergency physicians.

About the Organization

GECC has been working in Uganda since 2008 to address this public health crisis in a cost-effective and sustainable manner by educating midlevel health providers (similar to nurse practitioners), through a train-the-trainer model. This approach has allowed provide rs to manage patients in their communities, improve patient care, and most importantly, to save lives.

Through rigorous tracking of patient outcomes, GECC has found that lives are being saved! The overall mortality rate at its pilot site where there are trained emergency providers is only 2.2%, compared to a similar hospital in Kenya with a mortality rate of 7.3%.

This program will build capacity of the Ugandan health care infrastructure to empower Ugandan providers to care for Ugandan patients. The course will commence in September 2015 in Mbarara and is the first of its kind to enroll physician specialists in Uganda. 

 

 

Additional Resources

1. Listen to Dr. Chamberlain’s interview on NPR’s WorldView radio program. She discussed GECC’s Emergency Care Practitioner training program and explained the GECC vision.

2. Watch Dr. Heather Hammerstedt's interview on local Boise, ID television where she discusses the roots of GECC and our work in Uganda

3. Visit our Website for more information on programs, publications, and how to get involved.

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