Global Emergency Care Collaborative

GECC's mission is to improve global health by creating or improving access to quality emergency care in the developing world. GECC works with local partners in resource-poor areas to create quality sustainable emergency care systems in developing nations through development of emergency departments and training of local providers.
Oct 15, 2014

Importance of Training Local vs. Importing Foreign

Alfunsi & Owen reading an x-ray in the ED
Alfunsi & Owen reading an x-ray in the ED

GECC has developed a sustainable, train-the-trainer model that educates nurses to become Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) to provide quality acute care in order to save lives. However, this train-the trainer model was not the initial model that GECC developed to increase access to acute care in Uganda. Our original model was a failure and taught us some very important lessons about education, capacity development, health system strengthening, and international development in Uganda. We attribute our initial failure to our continued success today.

In the beginning, Global Emergency Care Collaborative was founded to help raise funds to construct an emergency department at a small, rural hospital in southwestern Uganda. The GECC founders, four emergency physicians from the U.S., thought that opening an emergency department would drastically reduce the incidence of preventable morbidity and mortality in the surrounding communities. After the construction of the only emergency department in all of Uganda, a U.S. emergency physician, working for a different non-profit organization, was slated to volunteer at the hospital for a three-year period. According to the original plan, this physician was going to manage the day-to-day operations of the new emergency department and train the providers at the hospital in emergency care.

Looking back, one of the most surprising aspects of our plan to us was the lack of long-term vision. We knew the positive impacts that a functioning emergency department would have on preventing deaths from malaria, pneumonia, trauma, and other sources, but we were very green when it came to the long-term planning of a sustainable program that would earn the trust and buy-in of the local community. The plan from the outset was to have a foreign emergency physician at the hospital for the first three years to get the program up and running and provide training to local providers, although no formal curriculum was created.

What unfolded is the physician and his family arrived in Uganda shortly after the emergency department opened, and for personal reasons, they were forced to return home a month later. We had a newly constructed emergency department in rural Uganda with no one trained to run it. After intense self-reflection and dialogue, we determined that a program that was dependent on one individual was in no way a sustainable way forward.

Our solution was to train an inaugural class of local providers with a formal curriculum. Not only were local nurses trained in the necessary clinical skills, but they were also trained to become educators to teach the incoming classes of nurses. By designing and implementing a train-the-trainer model, GECC developed a replicable model that serves as a model for emergency medicine development in other similar resource-limited settings.

Although our failure was a problematic beginning for the organization, it forced us to strategically rethink our mission and vision to design a program that is successful, replicable, scalable, and affordable. We learned about the importance of long-term planning and engaging the local community and used this initial failure as a springboard for inventive problem solving and creative visioning. Had we not learned from this failure, our organization would not have learned the importance of building local capacity through education, and the 25,000 patients that have been treated in the past several years would not have received the life-saving care they desperately needed.

We are writing you today because today is a very important day for GECC. Today and today ONLY GlobalGiving is matching every donation (up to $1,000) to GECC by 30%. Starting at 9am Eastern, every dollar you donate will provide us with $1.30 to expand our work training ECPs to provide life saving care in resource limited settings. We are at a critical juncture as our expansion in Nairobi, Kenya needs $100,000 to move forward and our scaling up in Uganda needs a similar amount to get the program up and running at one of Uganda's ten Regional Referral Hospitals. We plan to fund these expansion programs with a combination of grants and donations from people like you - so every dollar counts! Donate HERE

Thank you for your continued support and for creating sustainable change and improving the lives of others around the world. We assure you that your hard earned dollars will be used to expand our life saving ECP training programs in Uganda and Kenya. As always, please tell your friends and family about the important work that you are doing through your support of GECC and ask that they get involved as well. Together we continue to change lives.

With gratitude,

Tom Neill, Operations Director, GECC

ECP
ECP's Jovita and JB reviewing an x-ray
Mother and son at the ED
Mother and son at the ED
Sisters at the ED
Sisters at the ED
Continuing education with simulation exercises
Continuing education with simulation exercises
ECP- Owen in the ED
ECP- Owen in the ED

Links:

Sep 29, 2014

Access to Health Is a Human Right

JB prepping the x-rays
JB prepping the x-rays

As we transition from the long, warm days of summer to shorter, cooler days in North America, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for believing, like I do, that access to quality emergency care is a human right for everyone across the globe. This right to health includes access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality. I know you are with me on this because, as a past GECC donor, you have spoken with your pocket book. Because of you and other donors like you, we continue to fight, day in and day out, to increase access to quality emergency care in Uganda and beyond. For your crucial role in this fight, I sincerely thank you.

At the same time, I woukld like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that the ECPs bring to their job everyday - saving thousands of lives with care, compassion, and professionalism. To demonstrate, I'd like to share a story with you. A 32-year-old woman came to the Emergency Department complaining of abdominal pain and in shock. One of the junior ECPs was able to do an ultrasound and diagnose her with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in her fallopian tube that had burst and was causing life-threatening internal bleeding). She was quickly taken to the operating room for surgery to stop the bleeding and has recovered and is now doing well. Without your continued support of the ECP program, this young mother five would very possibly have died that day.

Because vulnerable and marginalized groups in societies tend to bear an undue proportion of health problems, I hope you will continue to walk with me on this journey to increase life-saving access to emergency care services in Uganda and beyond. Thank you for being a part of the solution and please consider renewing your donation. The final Global Giving match day with be on October 15th when Global Giving will match 30% of all donations up to $1,000. This is a great way to maximize the impact of every dollar you donate.

If you continue to be believe in the GECC and our work, please consider spreading the word about our work to continue helping those who need it most.

Best regards,

Tom Neill, MPH, MBA
Operations Director

ECP - Tedie at work
ECP - Tedie at work
ECP - Alfunsi leading a procedural sedation
ECP - Alfunsi leading a procedural sedation
Mother and daughter outside ED
Mother and daughter outside ED
A little football outside the ED
A little football outside the ED
ECP- Richard doing a wound check on a peds patient
ECP- Richard doing a wound check on a peds patient

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

Perspectives from the Field

Deus with Precious and Mother
Deus with Precious and Mother

Hello Friends and Supporters,

As we look back on the first half of 2014, we are sincerely appreciative for all of the support we have received from volunteers, donors, colleagues, friends, and family over the years. We wouldn't be where we are without you and we are profoundly grateful. That being said, our work is far from done.

Our innovative health worker training programs have proven to reduce mortality from the most common causes of death in Uganda like malaria, pneumonia, and trauma. Due to this success, we are working hard to scale up our pioneering programs to build on past successes and prove, yet again, that specially trained Emergency Care Practitioners save lives and improve outcomes on a daily basis, and they do so at a fraction of the cost to the overall health system.

In our most recent blog post, you can read about two and a half year old, Precious, who was brought to the emergency department in Nyakibale by her father. She was too weak to hold her head up, too tired to cry as her father carried her in. Her body lay motionless on the stretcher, her skin unnaturally pale. Precious and her parents had traveled a long road to reach the hospital. Read more about how fortunate Precious was to be treated at the only Emergency Department in rural sub-Saharan Africa by specially trained providers in emergency medicine HERE.

In addition, you can read this excellent piece about the perceptions of GECC's Emergency Care Practitioner program written by Kisoke Tobias - GECC's Research Coordinator in Nyakibale. He provides a unique perspective by the Ugandan community on our work in rural Ugnada. In his post, Tobias remarks how "distance traveled by patients to reach the ED is a clear indication of how worthy the care provided there is".

We are writing you today because today is a very important day for GECC. Today and today ONLY Global Giving is matching every donation (up to $1,000) to GECC by 50%. Starting at 9am Eastern, every dollar you donate will provide us with $1.50 to expand our work training ECPs to provide life saving care in resource limited settings. We are at a critical juncture as our expansion in Kenya needs $100,000 to move foreward and our scaling up in Uganda needs a similar amount to get the program up and running at one of Uganda's ten Regional Referral Hospitals. We plan to fund these expansion programs with a combination of grants and donations from people like you - so every dollar counts! Donate HERE

Thank you for your continued support and for creating sustainable change and improving the lives of others around the world. We assure you that your hard earned dollars will be used to expand our life saving ECP training programs in Uganda and Kenya. As always, please tell you friends and family about the important work that you are doing through your support of GECC and ask that they get involved as well. Together we continue to change lives.

With gratitude,

Tom Neill, Operations Director, GECC

Baby in ED
Baby in ED
ECPs at work
ECPs at work
ECPs in the ED
ECPs in the ED

Links:

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