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Dec 27, 2018

Why is the ECP program so important?

Dr. Randall teaching the ECP Diploma students
Dr. Randall teaching the ECP Diploma students

"I love being an ECP because I am able to handle all emergencies by identifying and stabilizing life-threatening conditions and consult where necessary. This makes me love what I do - saving lives." – Teddy Kiire, Emergency Care Practitioner

Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) are shaping the future of emergency care in Uganda. They provide essential, lifesaving services in their communities, like:

  • Treating 30,000 emergency patients per year. This was half of all the emergency care provided across Uganda in 2018.
  • Each ECP treats over 40,000 patients during her/his career.
  • Public health surveillance – ECPs are the first line of defense against infectious disease outbreaks
  • Mortality decreased by 25% in patients treated by ECPs in rural Uganda

Dr. Randall Ellis has been working closely with the ECPs as our Global Health Fellow in Masaka since September. Please take some time to read his story below about the ECP impact that's thanks to your support.

Over the past 15 years I've worked in a variety of global health settings around the world; what GEC has been doing over the past 10 years is certainly unique.

Recognizing the huge physician shortage in Uganda and throughout Africa, GEC is training nurses and clinical officers to provide quality emergency care appropriate to the settings where they practice.

The students are trained as ECPs. In the US, they would be called nurse practitioners or physician assistants. ECPs can be trained in 2 years, whereas it would take nearly a decade and a much greater cost to train physicians to do the same tasks. Patients dying in Uganda do not have time to wait.

I've been in Uganda for nearly 3 months assisting the ECP trainers with teaching and curriculum development. I have been impressed with the knowledge and skill levels of the trainers and students. The students are energetic and eager to learn practical skills and put them to use.

For example, two weeks ago we had a simulation of a mass casualty incident where multiple critical patients come to the Emergency Department (ED) at the same time. The students were taught to triage and prioritize care, and to organize and lead others involved.

Approximately an hour after this teaching session, a student found me in the lecture room and hurriedly exclaimed “there’s a mass casualty.” I couldn’t believe it.

I walked to the ED and learned that a truck had turned over. Multiple patients were brought in at once. Just as had been simulated, the patients were kept close together with supplies in the middle. An entire team was working together with the group being coordinated by one of the ECP trainers, Alfunsi.

The students quickly and calmly assessed the patients in a stepwise approach and addressed their critical needs. The scenario went just as practiced and all the care was provided by the ECPs. I did not join in, because I did not need to.

Giving Ugandans the skills, the tools, and the knowledge to take care of Ugandans is what GEC does, and does well. I have seen it in action.

Dr. Randall Ellis
GEC Global Health Fellow

 

Thanks to a very generous donor if we raise $10,000 before Dec. 31st, we will unlock a $10,000 matching gift!

Can we count on your support today to help unlock this extremely important match?

We know that care provided by ECPs decreases mortality by 25%. And your contribution today will directly train new ECPs in 2019. That means your gift trains emergency medical providers who save 1 of every 4 people who otherwise would not have survived. That's a one of a kind investment.

Please consider a gift by Dec. 31st to help unlock the match!

Happy New Year!

Dr. Randall lecturing about vascular disorders
Dr. Randall lecturing about vascular disorders
Dr. Randall and 2nd year trainee Winnie
Dr. Randall and 2nd year trainee Winnie
Dr. Randall teaching a simulation exercise
Dr. Randall teaching a simulation exercise

Links:

Oct 2, 2018

Beginning of a New Year

GEC's Annual Meeting in Seattle
GEC's Annual Meeting in Seattle

Hello friends!

A new academic year is upon us and that means the start of training for more Emergency Care Practitioners and Emergency Medicine physicians and we couldn't be more excited.

In August, eight second year Emergency Care Practitioner Diploma students began their second year of training. They are excited to be back working in the Emergency Department and learning new skills from the trainers. Additionally, they are acting as mentors this year to the new first year ECP Diploma students. That's right there is a new class of six ECP Diploma students that have begun their training at Masaka Hospital as well. The GEC team is working hard to ensure the curriculum is in place and prepared for both classes of ECP Diploma students. 

Furthermore, at Mbarara University the Master of Medicine in Emergency Medicine (MMed) trainees have started their second of three years of training. Upon completion of their program, they will graduate as the first specialist Emergeny Medicine Physicians trained completely in Uganda. Concurrently, Makerere University in Kampala started another MMed program this month to increase emergency physician capacity in Uganda. 

The graduates from both the Diploma program and the MMed program will form the cornerstone of the nascent Emergency Medicine community in Uganda. GEC is proud to continue to support the development of these two programs and look forward to continue to support emergency medicine development in Uganda.

Additionally, the GEC team met in Seattle in September for our 2018 Annnual Meeting. It was a major success in strategy planning for the future of the organization. 

GEC team working at 2018 Annual Meeting
GEC team working at 2018 Annual Meeting
GEC Fundraiser at Obec Brewing in Seattle
GEC Fundraiser at Obec Brewing in Seattle

Links:

Jul 3, 2018

Completion of First Year of ECP Diploma Program

Alfunsi Birungi - ECP Trainer at Masaka
Alfunsi Birungi - ECP Trainer at Masaka

I am excited to announce the completion of the first year of the Emergency Care Practitioner Diploma program at Masaka Hospital. The eight ECP students have worked hard to vastly improved their clinical skills and knowledge over the course of the year. The four ECP Trainers – Teddy, Elizabeth, Alfunsi, and JB – have done an excellent job preparing and giving lectures, as well as teaching the ECP students clinically in the emergency department. We look forward to the start of the second year on August 18, 2018. In addition, we are currently recruiting ten new ECP Diploma students for the second class that will begin their training in mid-August as well.

In addition, GEC has partnered with Mbarara University to start the first-ever Master of Medicine (MMed) in Emergency Medicine program (similar to a US residency program). Five physicians have completed their first year of the three-year, specialist, emergency medicine training program. They are a dynamic group that upon graduation will work directly with the qualified ECPs to develop emergency medicine across Uganda.

In other news, Alex Wang, GEC’s 2017-18 Global Health Fellow, wrote an excellent reflection piece on his year working in Masaka over the first year of the ECP Diploma program. Read more here.

Lastly, we recently released our 2017 Annual Report. The report highlights GEC’s successes in 2017, and provides some reflections on our last ten years of work in Uganda. Read it here.

Thank you for your continued support!

Warm regards,

Tom Neill

Inaugural ECP Diploma students outside Masaka ED
Inaugural ECP Diploma students outside Masaka ED

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