Podcast#22(Part1): “The Emergency Physician in Africa”

© 2013 M Harris I approached Dr Stevan Bruijns, editor of the African Journal of Emergency Medicine, and asked him to give me some insight into Emergency Medicine and Paramedic practice on the African continent as well as more about the Adopt a Delegate programme. If you have ever considered lending a helping hand, please look at supporting the “Adopt a Delegate” programme and show your support to our fellow Paramedics on the African continent.

(Imagine you work as a Paramedic on the African continent.) Got it? Now replace the ambulances with a bicycle, increase the distance to travel to the nearest health care facility by about 5 fold, remove two thirds of the staff at the receiving hospital, the CT scanner and the specialty of emergency medicine. Turn up the heat, add some mosquitoes and voila you are in the setting which Adopt-a-delegate aims to improve. What is adopt-a-delegate? Adopt-a-delegate aims to enable delegates from a deprived background to present their country’s acute care needs in an international forum, by bringing them to an international conference which has a focus on acute care in developing settings. This brings their plight to the international community and allows intervention. It also allows them to learn from the solutions brought about by their peers in other part of Africa. In short it allows Africans to be in the driving seat, negotiating their own problems, with those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the West giving them a little push to get the acute care vehicle started.

There are 53 countries in Africa, and about half claim to have a formal, government run pre-hospital service. The reality is that these services are isolated to big urban areas in the majority of setting and often severely under-resourced. There is no HEMS in Timbuktu despite Mali registered as having a national ambulance service with the WHO. Having an ambulance is one thing, but having adequate roads and petrol to make it go (or even just someone to fix it if it breaks down) is an entirely different thing. The adopted delegates are scrutinised carefully by the AFEM in order to ensure that only the most dedicated individuals are awarded sponsorship. Their motivation letters are filled with dedication and raw passion for acute care in their countries. Just have a look at some published on the conference website. It is these guys whom I’m asking you to help make the connections to improve the plight of many in their home countries.

What can you do to help? Simply give £20 or £50 to the project. You can donate online through AFEM givengain site (click on donate now once you’ve entered the website). Every penny will go towards adopt-a-delegate. We keep nothing back for admin costs, etc. Need more information? Just contact me on stevan.bruijns@afjem.com

Listen to Podcast#22 (Part One): “The Emergency Physician in Africa”

The Emergency Physician in Africa - Download This Episode

The Show Notes:
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My Guests Bio:

Stevan BruijnsBio: Dr Stevan Bruijns
Emergency physician and editor for the African Journal of Emergency Medicine (AfJEM). Currently in between jobs and due to start at the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cape Town in October. Avid supported of #FOAMed and #SUDSec with a focus on the developing regions of Africa. Dad of the cuddliest little girl in the world.

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