July 21, 2011

Changing First-Aid in Africa

(Ivanhoe Newswire)--Emergency medical situations are common in Africa, but has proper training been mandated in order to provide the best care? Authors of a recent study reported that, in sub-Saharan Africa, 41 percent of all deaths and 39 percent of the morbidity burden can be addressed if prompt and adequate emergency care is provided. A new set of guidelines have recently been set increasing the chance of survival rates.

A new set of evidence-based guidelines address how basic first responders should be trained to handle emergency situations in Africa. The guidelines, developed by a panel of African-based experts in conjunction with African Red Cross Societies, focus on first aid interventions requiring minimal if any equipment. These guidelines can be used by individuals and organizations involved in first aid training programs in Africa. These guidelines are also beneficial because they provide help tailoring training materials to local and target groups.

The authors of the study were quoted saying, "Pre-hospital care is a vital initial step, but is often unavailable, until now."

SOURCE: PLoS Medicine, July 19, 2011