GHES U.S. Fellow 2019-2020
FELLOWSHIP SITE: University of Gondar, Ethiopia
U.S. INSTITUTION: Stanford UNIVERSITY
Project Title: Trauma 101: Improving essential trauma care through education
In recent years, attention has been placed on the global need for essential surgical care. Trauma care is an essential component of surgical care, with injuries being one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity. The burden of death and disability from injury is especially high in low and middle-income (LMICs), with approximately 90% of the total burden of injury occurring in LMICs. Of the total injury burden in LMICs, 21% is potentially avertable by providing basic trauma care.
In response to the need for access to safe surgical care, Ethiopia, classified as a low-income country by the World Bank, launched the Saving Lives through Safe Surgery (SaLTS) initiative in 2015. SaLTS is a national surgical plan designed by the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with several other partners, aimed at improving nationwide access to safe surgical and anesthetic care.
Our proposal is a quality improvement project in line with the SaLTs initiative, to assess and improve the education and skills of multidisciplinary surgical care providers in Ethiopia. We will design and implement a training program to improve surgical safety specifically for trauma and emergency surgical care in conjunction with Addis Ababa University, Dila University, and Wolita Sodo University, and their affiliated hospitals. Our focus is to address skills needed to treat life-threatening injuries promptly to maximize survival and minimize disability. Specific areas of training would include management of the obstructed airway, respiratory distress, and the recognition and prompt treatment of shock. We will conduct participant assessments to determine baseline knowledge and attitudes, and the impact of training on knowledge of managing emergency surgical/trauma care issues. Our long-term hope is that after the implementation of our training program, data will be collected and analyzed to evaluate patient outcomes.