Saving Lives With Emergency Care in Rural Uganda

May 5, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to mothers around the world!

Limited means of travel lead to dangerous injuries
Limited means of travel lead to dangerous injuries

As Mother's Day approaches and we take time to reflect on how much we appreciate our mothers, we at GECC wanted to share with you a report from the field about some mothers whose lives were recently saved due to GECC's Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) in Uganda.

Report from the Field

Recently, a group of passengers were traveling on the back of a truck and fell out. (See attached picture for an example of this dangerous travel which is the only option for many.) Five patients were brought simultaneously to the Nyakibale Hospital's 5-bed ER where GECC has trained emergency care providers. Of the 5 patients, one woman had a lung collapse, one man had a broken leg, one man had an ankle injury and 2 women had abdominal injuries. They were all given emergency care, and they all survived and are doing well. Here's what GECC's volunteer physician who was assisting the ECPs reported back:

"A few things about this night really stood out to me as remarkable:

  • Every patient received the appropriate care in a timely manner. 
  • The ECPs worked really well together dividing the responsibilities.
  • The ED was calm and quiet. While there were many patients with potentially life-threatening injuries that would make me sweat, the ECPs had the situation under control  The ED was so quiet that we realized we could still hear the Christian music playing off the research computer throughout the whole ordeal!
  • The ECPs are amazing!! Alfunsi, Irene, and Richard, after only 1 year of training are able to manage a critical and stressful situation. Jovita was a great leader. She allowed the ECPs to do their work, but she had a great overview of the whole situation. She was able to delegate duties and even directed the visiting doctors to the patients that needed some extra help. 

At the end of the night we were all in awe of this amazing group of clinicians. They were poised, competent, and compassionate. This incident (among many others) made me feel really grateful and proud to be part of the GECC family!"

- Meera Muru, MD, GECC Volunteer Physician

Pre-hospital Training Program a Success!

In addition to this amazing story, GECC is proud to share with you news of the successful completion of its first Emergency First Responder training program! There is no 9-1-1 system in rural Uganda, no ambulances, and no paramedics. In order to improve emergency care prior to arrival to the hospital, local stakeholders and GECC collaborated to develop a training program for community and clinic health workers. These trainings were conducted in March and were well-received. We are confident that this training will help save even more lives by getting patients emergency care earlier and linking them to available resources!


Thank you again for your support of GECC's work and being part of the solution to improve emergency care where none exists.  Please consider renewing your donation and spreading the word about our work to continue helping those who need it most!

Our sincere thanks,

The GECC team

GECC's training for community health workers
Training prehospital providers in emergency care
Training prehospital providers in emergency care

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Project Leader

Stacey Chamberlain

Oak Park, IL United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Saving Lives With Emergency Care in Rural Uganda