The Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation (EMKF) hosted a two (2) day symposium, from the 29th to 30th of June 2017, themed ‘Emergency Care for all’ at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.
This symposium, the first of its kind in Kenya, targeted over 400 delegates from the medical profession and will be focused on demystifying emergency care and providing the latest in evidence-based emergency care practices. The target audience includes doctors, pharmacists, clinical officers, nurses, EMTs and students.
The Inaugural Emergency Care Symposium, came to an end today at Safari Park Hotel. It brought together over four hundred and twenty-seven delegates (427) from across Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, USA, Trinidad & Tobago, Tanzania, UK and South Africa to discuss the status of emergency care.
This second day of the conference was focused on highlighting the actual situation on the ground, with a country-wide perspective. Speakers included representatives from the Ministry of Health, Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya Council of EMTs, Kijabe Hospital and Aga Khan University Hospital.
The Keynote speaker was Professor Lee Wallis, the President of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM), an international body founded in 1991 that aims to promote access to and lead the development of the highest quality of emergency medical care for all people.
Professor Lee said, “Our job is to save lives. It is therefore important to provide quality emergency care to all. Emergency care systems are the bedrock of good healthcare. For instance, if there was better emergency care at the scenes of traffic accidents, we could potentially save five hundred thousand lives in Africa annually.”
To save these lives, a community-based approach is the best way to ensure proper emergency care. This means that healthcare providers in the locality must be trained with customized local learning texts and examples, to enable them to meet the needs immediately, save lives, reduce the impact of injury and lower the cost of care.
There are now programs available for localized training. The Aga Khan University Hospital offers an eighteen month international standards diploma from the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa. Additionally, Kijabe Hospital offers an eighteen month Higher Diploma in Emergency Critical care for clinical officers. The Kenyatta National Hospital offers emergency nursing training.
The symposium sponsors include NHIF, E-Plus Medical Services, Phillips, Medsurge, Optimed, AMREF Flying Doctors, and JANST Healthcare.
“We don’t expect that every patient who needs emergency care will be seen by Emergency physician specialists…. they are not the solution to the emergency care problem…. the system is completely dependent on community-based first aid responders, clinics and low-level hospitals like district hospitals, nurses, clinical officers mid-level workers and generalist doctors who go from seeing emergencies with no training to dealing with emergencies properly trained. That is the transition we need to make”
“Our job is to save lives. It is therefore important to provide quality emergency care to all. Emergency care systems are the bedrock of good healthcare. For instance, if there was better emergency care at the scenes of traffic accidents, we could potentially save five hundred thousand lives in Africa annually.”
INAUGURAL EMERGENCY CARE SYMPOSIUM HIGHLIGHTS THE CRITICAL STATE OF EMERGENCY CARE IN KENYA
29th June 2017, Nairobi ………The Inaugural Emergency Care Symposium, held today at Safari Park Hotel, brought together over four hundred and twenty-seven delegates (427) for the first time ever, to discuss the status of
emergency care in Kenya.
The key sponsor, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), represented by Dr. Ambrose Lugho, the Director of Operations and Quality Assurance noted that “The healthcare system in Kenya is plagued by the lack of resources,
where the majority of county hospitals in Kenya lack well-equipped trauma centers with lifesaving equipment or lack adequate staff trained in emergency medicine”.
He, however, said that in line with the provision of achieving universal health coverage, the NHIF had enhanced its benefits package to strengthen effective Care management and develop a referral system.
“NHIF has rolled out an emergency road services package, where the Kenya Red Cross has been contracted to offer ambulatory services, to all fully paid up scheme beneficiaries countrywide,” he said. “The aim is to deliver emergency care which includes; emergency initial care on site, evacuation to the nearest contracted healthcare provider for treatment and the transportation and transfer of a sick member or dependents for treatment to nearest NHIF declared hospital”.
The representative of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Simon Kibias, Head, Emergency Medical Care and Disaster stated “This symposium depicts the need for a sustained effort to strengthen institutions for a multi
sector coordination of Emergency Medical Care in Kenya.”
He further noted that the development of a Kenya Policy on Emergency Medical Care was in the final stages. “The policy seeks to establish a working emergency medical care system that will improve access, delivery and funding of emergency medical care with the aim of ensuring that every Kenyan has the highest attainable standard of emergency health care.”
Other sponsors for the symposium include E-Plus Medical Services, Phillips, Medsurge, Optimed, AMREF Flying Doctors, and JANST Healthcare.
The Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation (EMKF) is a non-profit organization founded in January 2015 dedicated to the development of emergency care in Kenya (and other resource-limited settings) through
education and research.
This symposium is part of its initiatives to develop career emergency care providers in Kenya and promote local research that improves the outcomes for patients needing emergency care in Kenya, given the limited availability of
This first ever Emergency Care Symposium has been put together to achieve the following;
Demystify what emergency care is
Provide the latest information on best practices in emergency care
Champion the commencement of an advocacy lobby to further issues related to emergency care at a national level – hopefully resulting in a national policy on Emergency Care
National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)
National Hospital Insurance Fund is a State Parastatal whose core mandate is to provide medical insurance cover to all its members and their declared dependants (spouse and children). The NHIF membership is open to all
Kenyans who have attained the age of 18 years and years and have a monthly income of more than Ksh 1000. NHIF has 61 fully autonomous branches across the country. Each of these branches offers all NHIF services including payment of benefits to hospitals or members or employers. Smaller satellite offices and service points in district hospitals also serve these branches.
Emergency Medical Services (E-Plus)
Emergency Plus Medical Services is a company fully owned by the Kenya Red Cross Society, whose core business is the provision of advanced prehospital emergency medical services. In its 3 years of existence, E-Plus has been providing pre-hospital medical care and transportation to patients with illnesses and injuries on a Commercial basis as well as under Corporate Social Responsibility, in fulfillment of the mission and mandate of The Kenya Red Cross Society.
NAIROBI, Kenya, 29 June 2017 – The Ministry of Health is developing a policy to make emergency medical care an integral component of the health care system.
The Kenya Policy on Emergency Medical Care which is in the final stage of development will coordinate all emergency medical service providers and create an authority to regulate emergency medical care.
The Health Ministry has said it will revamp Kenya’s under-equipped emergency care.
Speaking during the inaugural emergency care symposium held at Safari Park Hotel yesterday, CS Cleopa Mailu said the development of policy on emergency medical care, which is in its final stages, will go a long way in improving health care.
Access to emergency care can be improved by better delivery at health facilities and the creation of new policies at a national level. Specifically, Kenya needs to recognise emergency services as an integral component of the healthcare system.
Access to quality emergency services is an essential component of the human right to health, but barriers to emergency care are found throughout Africa and the wider world. Data to support the development of emergency care are essential to improve access to care and further infrastructure development. We undertook this study to understand the community’s emergency care needs and the barriers they face when trying to access care and to engage community members in developing high impact solutions to expand access to essential emergency services.
To accomplish this, we used a qualitative research methodology to conduct 59 focus groups with 528 total Kenyan community member participants. Data were coded, aggregated, and analysed using the content analysis approach. Participants were uniformly selected from all eight of the historical Kenyan provinces (Central, Coast, Eastern, Nairobi, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, and Western), with equal rural and urban community representation.
We found that socioeconomic and cultural factors play a major role both in seeking and reaching emergency care. Community members in Kenya experience a wide range of medical emergencies and seem to understand their time-critical nature. They rely on one another for assistance in the face of substantial barriers to care: a lack of a structured system, resources, transportation, trained healthcare providers, and initial care on scene.
The results of this study indicate the need for specific interventions to reduce barriers to access essential emergency services in Kenya. Access to emergency care can be improved by encouraging recognition and initial treatment of emergent illness in the community, strengthening the prehospital care system, improving emergency care delivery at health facilities, nd creating new policies at both county and national levels.