Govt launches pilot post-casualty care project in 3 regions

17Dec 2017
James Kandoya
Guardian On Sunday
Govt launches pilot post-casualty care project in 3 regions

THE government has launched post-casualty care project in three regions to ensure that emergency facilities are available at crash sites to reduce deaths resulting from accidents and improve transport of casualties.

Principal Medical officer, Road Safety Coordinator from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Mary Kitambi

Currently, the average time from the accident scene to hospital varies from 4-8 hours.

 

In an interview with the Guardian recently in Dodoma region, Principal Medical officer, Road Safety Coordinator from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Mary Kitambi said the project was being implemented as a pilot in three regions on Tanzania mainland.

 

The regions are Morogoro, Coast region and Dar es Salaam, adding that these have been selected due to the higher number of accident occurrences.

 

She was speaking on the sidelines of a non-actors stakeholders meeting that met to discuss, among other things, the proposal for amendment of the Traffic Act of 1973.

 

She said the project was being implemented jointly by Emergency Medical Services (EMD) under the ministry; the Fire and Rescue Brigade and traffic police under the Ministry for Home Affairs.

 

Elaborating, she said the move aimed to improve emergency responses and rescue facilities, hence save the lives of accident casualties.

 

“Most accident casualties arrive at the hospital late due to insufficient emergency response and rescue facilities, a situation that contribute to severe intensity,” she said.

 

Furthermore, she said even the means of transport used to carry casualties sometimes is not friendly, thus either caused death or intensified severity.

 

Head of the Emergency Medical Department at Muhimbili National Hospital Dr Juma Mfinanga said most accident casualties arrived at the hospital without primary services and stabilisation.

 

Dr Mfinanga said post-care services have a number of challenges including awareness as well as poor facilities.

 

He said due to that most casualties were taken to hospital with no splinting of fractures, no dressing or compression of bleeding wounds, and improper means of transport.

 

He said 90 per cent of injuries related to deaths occurred in less developed countries where limited resources were available to provide the appropriate care necessary to optimize outcomes.

 

“There is a need to develop guidelines and a training curriculum for injury and patient’s care. Once the public is aware they can reduce impact intensity or save lives,“ he said.

 

According to him, there was also a need to develop centralised ambulance systems to ease fast and proper transport of casualties from the accident scene to hospital.

 

He further suggested to the stakeholders to document the gaps available in the Traffic Act of 1973 for further amendments.

 

A research report released by Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) recently showed that only 73 out of 4665 victims, equivalent to 2 percent, received some form of management at the crash site from good Samaritans.

 

The aim of the study was to determine the pattern, associated factors and management of road traffic injury patients in Tanzania

In the research a total of 4675 road traffic injury patients were seen between April 2014 and September 2014.

 The distribution of injury patients by hospital was Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute 30.5 per cent, Morogoro 22.6 per cent, Tumbi 13.8 per cent, Temeke 12.7 per cent, Amana 10.6 per cent and Mwananyamala 9.9 per cent.

The management offered was splinting of fractures using pieces of wood, compression dressing to arrest bleeding using victim's clothes, victims who used ambulances to hospital did receive some form of management.

The management offered in an ambulance was intravenous line establishment, fluid administration and compression dressing to arrest bleeding using bandages. Those who used other means of transport to hospital didn't receive any management en route.