Online Program

Learning from developing countries in delivering emergency and trauma care: Lessons from an emergency medicine global health partnership in Ethiopia

Monday, November 4, 2013

Heidi Busse, MPH, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine & Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Ephrem Aboneh, B.Pharm, M.Pharm, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Ryan Wubben, MD, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Janis Tupesis, MD, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Aklilu Azazh, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Girma Tefera, MD, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine & Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Background: Health care providers in Ethiopia have limited or no formal training for handling emergencies. As a result, morbidity and mortality due to trauma and injury are high. Many patients die unnecessarily – at the site of injury, during transport, or at the hospital – because emergency systems are lacking. In 2009, two tertiary care medical centers (one in the U.S., one in Ethiopia) formed a partnership based on the 6-phase twinning model to enhance and strengthen emergency & trauma care at the Ethiopian tertiary hospital. Methods: Over the duration of the partnership, more than 80 US-based health care professionals participated in exchange trips to Ethiopia to deliver educational trainings, provide clinical mentoring, and assist in program development. A survey based on WHO health systems competencies was developed to assess what the health professionals may have learned and integrated into their practice to measure "reverse learning." Results: Survey results revealed that US-based health workers experienced change in five of the six WHO health systems competencies: service delivery, health workforce capacity, health information systems, medical technologies, and leadership/management. Among practicing emergency workers, changes were reported in how they approached their practice of emergency medicine and/or injury prevention. Conclusion: Our study shows that this global health partnership model produced mutual educational, clinical, and professional benefits with significant reverse learning for U.S.-based partners. Further tools should be developed to better measure reverse learning, as there is much learning and innovation to be gained from developing countries to solve our global health challenges.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define “reverse learning” in the context of global health partnerships, Identify the 6-phase twinning partnership model that was utilized as the framework for strengthening emergency & trauma care, List five indicators to measure the impact of global health collaborations, Describe innovations in emergency and trauma care that developed countries have the potential to learn from developing countries

Keyword(s): EMS/Trauma, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), Department of Surgery. Since 2009, I have coordinated medical education partnerships between the UW and Ethiopia, managing all aspects of work plan development, program implementation, and evaluation. I completed my Master of Public Health from the UW, a BS in Environmental Science from Lawrence University, and a certificate in Earth Systems Science & Management from Columbia University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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