COVID-19  Uganda Project #48556

COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund

by Global Emergency Care
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COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund
ECP- DEUS Training an EMT at National Trauma Centr
ECP- DEUS Training an EMT at National Trauma Centr

The experience and challenges of serving at frontline, with current Covid-19 and Ebola crisis in Uganda, We allocated our ECP’s to work at National accident and Trauma Centre as one way GEC continues to support the Ministry of Health (MOH) of its vision of developing a national ambulance call and dispatch program, partnering on the training of pre-hospital Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The ECPs have showcased their high-level skills and training, while being recognized by Ministry of Health-Uganda Department of EMS for excellence. They have since taken on extra responsibility in orienting and training the ambulance Emergency medical Technicians (EMTs) on the basic lifesaving emergency care skills and use of bedside scan on ambulance.

In his words (Deus an ECP) "although we are scared to die because our fellow front liners have succumbed to both Covid-19 and now Ebola, the beauty of our work and above all being an emergency practitioner well trained by GEC is the feeling you get when you save a life " and that is what keeps us strong and passionate about Emergency Care and working in low limited setting like Uganda.

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ECP Deus & Elizabeth
ECP Deus & Elizabeth

Sustaining lifesaving emergency care in the pandemic hinges on the health and mental wellbeing of frontline emergency care workers. Emergency medical staff face exhaustion, difficult triage decisions, separation from families, stigma, pain of losing patients and colleagues, in addition to their own risks of infection. With new Covid-19 Cases on the rise and the confirmed cases of crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever at Masaka Regional referral Hospital, Emergency Care Practitioners have stepped up training for emergency department staff in personal protective practices, triage and patient ambulance referrals.

  1. Your countious contributions will provide masks, PPE, and supplies for our ECPs working on the front lines of the pandemic response in Uganda; train additional front line emergency health workers; and save children's lives

Now, more than ever, your support to Global Emergency Care is critical to our Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) as the new cases of Covid-19 rises and the confirmation of crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever at Masaka Regional referral Hospital.

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Elizabeth- Emergency Care Practitioner
Elizabeth- Emergency Care Practitioner

Delivering Emergency Care services by committed Emergency Care Professionals remains a priority for all health workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. At Global Emergency Care, Elizabeth an ECP is one such hero. At the peak of the pandemic and even when their was high risk of contracting COVID-19, Elizabeth did not ever think about abandoning her call to serve and save lives, especially the most disadvantaged people. Recalling the stigma, she and her family endured that time, Elizabeth notes that “This was the saddest moment of my career, my closest friends were scared of me being a frontliner.”  Despite the sad experience the challenge provided her with an opportunity as an ECP to showcase her high-level skills and training, while being recognized by Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for excellence. she has since taken on extra responsibility in orienting the hospital staff at Accident and Emergency Department about the proper use of PPE, hand hygiene, triaging COVID-19 patients, preparedness and Response to such pandemics

In her words " The beauty of being in the emergency department is the feeling you get when you save a life " and that is what keeps her strong and passionate about Emergency Care.

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Dr. Kenneth Daniel Bagonza – Emergency Medicine Physician

In a country of 42 million people, there are currently only seven emergency medicine (EM) physicians. Dr. Bagonza - one of the seven - works as a lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and by proxy at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. Dr. Bagonza, who, as part of the masters in Emergency Medicine pioneer class, was among those retained by the university to provide clinical care in the hospital while training the next generation of emergency care professionals. 

“Our biggest challenge is the lack of understanding of what emergency care is and what is required for whatever kind of emergency,” he notes. With over 3,250 Ugandans dead - including doctors - resulting from Covid-19 complications, there is a sudden urgency to increase the number of emergency care specialists in Uganda. It was clear that most specialties are not available 24 hours, yet emergencies happen at any time. “The unpredictability of emergencies requires that there must be someone with the right skills and numbers to attend to those emergences ably,” Dr. Bagonza says. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, trained emergency care providers were among the frontline teams dealing with life-threatening issues, bridging the gap between those who required acute care and the handover to the general ward. “The ones who had the best chance of survival are the ones who were provided with that opportunity to be kept alive… Some ailments are so acute that if you don’t catch them in time, then you deny these people a chance to life.” he says.

Dr. Bagonza desires to see that emergency medical care is available at all hospitals with a system that can pick the most vulnerable from their homes to the hospital emergency rooms while promptly providing pre-hospital service. “Ours is a very short interaction but potentially life-saving. And when you make these small but critical changes, they contribute to significant improvement…that is satisfying,”

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John-Bosco Kamugisa
John-Bosco Kamugisa

John Bosco Kamugisha is the Programme Coordinator for Global Emergency Care (GEC) in Uganda. Currently, GEC collaborates with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in south-western Uganda to train Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) in Uganda. His role involves coordinating trainers and all the activities for the training program as well as providing curriculum oversight for the course. 

JB, as colleagues popularly know him, was first introduced to emergency care when he met the president of GEC back in 2006 - 2007 while working at Nyakibale Hospital in Rukungiru district. “At that time, there was no emergency care in the hospital. It is so unfortunate that people would die because there was no one to offer the specialized care needed for emergencies,” he recollects. 

The fruit of the ECP’s JB has trained over the years was highlighted at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda. Especially in the Masaka region, a hotspot in Uganda. Some ECPs were deployed as frontline workers at the Uganda-Tanzania border to man the Covid-19 testing center, while others were deployed at the Covid-19 unit in Masaka Hospital. “Covid-19 was pretty engaging for us. With the skills acquired in emergency care, I remember working on a family that included a mother, father, and child who had contracted Covid-19. We provided the best kind of care they needed. All the affected members survived, and they are alive, happy, and living productive lives,” JB says.

Looking into the future, JB is very hopeful. He says, “We have seen considerable progress from where we started to where we are now. We want to scale up our training to support everyone involved in emergency care.”

GEC has made significant strides since 2017, starting with diplomas to now having EM accredited at higher levels of training. This is a significant achievement in providing lifesaving care for vulnerable communities in Uganda, but a lot more work still needs to be done.





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Organization Information

Global Emergency Care

Location: Oak Park, IL - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @globalemergcare
Project Leader:
Tom Neill
Oak Park, IL United States
$555 raised of $10,000 goal
3 donations
$9,445 to go
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