Sitting in the emergency department (ED) at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, it’s common to hear attendants and patients say “Nindi mu emergency”- literally meaning “am in the ED”. Over the years that the Nyakibale ED has operated, its gained massive local awareness – not only in the nearby sub-counties but as far away as the neighboring districts. During my time working here as research coordinator, I have seen patients from all corners of this sub-region of Uganda. Availability of transport is a major hindrance to people accessing health care in this part of Uganda. Therefore, distance traveled by patients to reach the ED is a clear indication of how worthy the care provided there is. The care provided and yearned for in the ED is not a result of anything, but the hard work of Global Emergency Care Collaborative and the most effective and sustainable Emergency Medicine Educational Program in Uganda involving two years of intensive study and practice. Patient numbers at the ED average 15 a day with many different clinical situations that have tested and proved effective this education program. Thanks to Global Emergency Care Collaborative.
GECC has achieved significant levels of success, including the creation of an emergency department, a dedicated team of experienced emergency physicians and board members, and a one of a kind education program –developed and strictly monitored by GECC. With these different variables put together, successful results have been attained. Three classes of ECPs have already graduated and a fourth is ongoing. There is an ever-growing number of ECPs presently standing at 12 – 9 qualified and 3 juniors - at Nyakibale Hospital’s Emergency Department. GECC and the ECP education program continue to bear fruit.
Many visiting doctors have been amazed at how possible it is for these humble and dedicated ECPs carry out some of the procedures that are done in the emergency department. For example, LPs, NG Tube Placements, IVs, STS, and many more procedures are completed at Nyakibale hospital ED. Lives have been saved and many more lives are being saved every day. Many thanks to these doctors that travel long distances to be part of such a great cause aimed at improving emergency medicine in this resource limited setting.
Growing up in a typical African setting, one finds themselves used to conditions as they reoccur and very little is done to better these. Improving the health sector should be a top priority on all agendas. I am very proud to be part of a cause that is aimed at achieving this. Not only at Nyakibale, but also with many more possible sites GECC is committed to continue advocating for better service delivery.