First Responders and Prehospital Care for Road Traffic Injuries in Malawi.

Authors:
Wakisa Mulwafu
Wakisa Mulwafu
University of Malawi
United Kingdom
Isaac Singini
Isaac Singini
University of Malawi
Yasin Njalale
Yasin Njalale
Blantyre Adventist Hospital
Limbika Maliwichi-Senganimalunje, MA Clinical Psychology
Limbika Maliwichi-Senganimalunje, MA Clinical Psychology
University of Malawi - Chancellor College
Lecturer
Malawi
Kathryn H Jacobsen
Kathryn H Jacobsen
George Mason University
Fairfax | United States

Prehosp Disaster Med 2017 Feb 7;32(1):14-19. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

6Department of Global & Community Health,George Mason University,Fairfax,Virginia,USA.

Introduction Road traffic collisions are a common cause of injuries and injury-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Basic prehospital care can be the difference between life and death for injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Problem This study examined the challenges associated with current first response practices in Malawi.

Methods: In April 2014, focus groups were conducted in two areas of Malawi: Karonga (in the Northern Region) and Blantyre (in the Southern Region; both are along the M1 highway), and a qualitative synthesis approach was used to identify themes. All governmental and nongovernmental first response organizations identified by key informants were contacted, and a checklist was used to identify the services they offer.

Results: Access to professional prehospital care in Malawi is almost nonexistent, aside from a few city fire departments and private ambulance services. Rapid transportation to a hospital is usually the primary goal of roadside care because of limited first aid knowledge and a lack of access to basic safety equipment. The key informants recommended: expanding community-based first aid training; emphasizing umunthu (shared humanity) to inspire bystander involvement in roadside care; empowering local leaders to coordinate on-site responses; improving emergency communication systems; equipping traffic police with road safety gear; and expanding access to ambulance services.

Conclusion: Prehospital care in Malawi would be improved by the creation of a formal network of community leaders, police, commercial drivers, and other lay volunteers who are trained in basic first aid and are equipped to respond to crash sites to provide roadside care to trauma patients and prepare them for safe transport to hospitals. Chokotho L , Mulwafu W , Singini I , Njalale Y , Maliwichi-Senganimalunje L , Jacobsen KH . First responders and prehospital care for road traffic injuries in Malawi. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):14-19.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X16001175DOI Listing
February 2017
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
Prehospital care in Nigeria: a country without Emergency Medical Services
Solagberu et al.
Niger J Clin Pract 2009

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Sasser et al.
2005

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