The Kenya Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Policy 2020-2030 is the first-ever policy in Kenya that seeks to establish a working Emergency Medical Care (EMC) System as a key component of the healthcare system in the country. The policy also speaks to the World Health Assembly resolution WHA 72.16 of 21 May 2019 which urged member states to create policies for sustainable funding, effective governance and universal access to safe, high-quality, needs-based emergency care for all as part of universal health coverage. In developing this policy, the Ministry of Health (MOH) aims to ensure access to the highest standards of emergency medical care in Kenya as envisioned in The Constitution of Kenya (2010) and the Health Act (2017) which guarantees every Kenyan the right to emergency medical treatment.
On 23rd July 2020, the Emergency Medicine Kenya (EMK) Foundation presented this report to The SenateStanding Committee on Health, The Republic of Kenya that summarises the current practice of emergency medical care in Kenya and identifies priority actions for use by policymakers and other stakeholders as a roadmap toward strengthening emergency care in the country.
Delegates to the 72nd World Health Assembly have adopted a resolution on emergency and trauma care aimed at helping countries to ensure timely care for the acutely ill and injured. It is estimated that more than half of deaths in low- and middle-income countries result from conditions that could be treated with prehospital and emergency care, including injuries; infections; acute exacerbations of cancer, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases; and complications of pregnancy. Effective emergency care systems save lives.
discussions, 22 Member States spoke in support of the resolution, which was
tabled by the Governments of Ethiopia and Eswatini and co-sponsored by over 30
countries. In their remarks, they praised the sponsoring countries for bringing
attention to this area, committed to the recommended actions and requested
near-term WHO support for specific activities, including: training for all
cadres of health workers, system- and facility-level assessments, implementing
standards for essential equipment and processes at each level of the health
system, and data collection and quality improvement. They also emphasized the
importance of fully integrating emergency care into ongoing universal health
coverage planning processes.
should die for the lack of access to emergency care, an essential part of
universal health coverage,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus. “We have simple, affordable and proven interventions that
save lives. All people around the world should have access to the timely,
life-saving care they deserve.”
have ranked components of emergency care as among the most cost-effective
public health interventions. Strengthening prehospital care by training
community-based providers and using staffed community ambulances has been
estimated to cost less than US$ 100 per life saved, and has been shown to
reduce mortality by 25-50% in some low- and middle-income country contexts.
The World Health
Assembly resolution seeks to overcome some of the main challenges facing
countries, including poor coordination of prehospital and facility-based care;
limited or no coverage of prehospital systems, especially in rural areas;
shortage of fixed staff assigned to emergency units; lack of standards for
clinical management and documentation; and insufficient funding. In addition, a
lack of security for prehospital and facility-based emergency care staff
remains a challenge in many countries.
suggests that all Member States, regardless of available resources, can take
steps towards strengthening their emergency care systems. Recommended
activities for Member States include creating policies to ensure universal
access to emergency care for all; conducting a WHO emergency care system
assessment to identify gaps and priorities for action; developing clinical
protocols identified in the WHO Emergency Care Systems Framework; and providing
emergency care training for all relevant health providers. The WHO
Secretariat is invited to expand its technical support to Member States.
In the coming
years much of WHO’s support to Member States on emergency and trauma care will
be provided through the Global Emergency and Trauma Care Initiative, launched
with the AO Foundation in December 2018. The Initiative seeks to rapidly
increase capacities to provide quality emergency care in countries and to
foster awareness through a global advocacy campaign about its potential to save
emergency care is a key mechanism for achieving a range of Sustainable
Development Goal targets, including those on universal health coverage, road
safety, maternal and child health, noncommunicable diseases, infectious
diseases, disasters and violence. It also helps WHO to fulfill the mandate of
its Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019-2023 to strengthen health
systems, widen coverage of essential health services and improve integrated