Experts from all over the world are meeting in Accra to discuss Emergency Medicine (EM), a life-saving medical care used extensively in the world but which is not common in Ghana.
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Emergency medicine is a medical speciality in which physicians care for patients with acute illnesses or injuries before they receive medical attention.
Currently, emergency care in Ghana is described by many as sub-optimal, with significant delays, resulting in high morbidity and mortality.
Hundreds of participants, including personnel of the Ghana Ambulance Service and the Ghana Health Service, will discuss, among other things, the state of EM in Ghana, strengthening injury care in Africa, the eye scan - useful for emergency physicians.
At the end of the three-day meeting, participants would have discussed about 43 topics aimed at strengthening and sharpening their skills in that area of medical care.
In Ghana, cases related to emergency services usually involve road traffic accidents, during which victims of such accidents require emergency care which is usually unavailable.
Speaking at the programme, a Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, noted that the challenges in providing EM were enormous and the conference was, therefore, an opportunity for the Ghanaian participants to improve on their knowledge.
He said some strides had been made to improve Ghana’s emergency services but research and capacity building were still needed to consolidate the gains made so far.
Information made available by organisers of the conference indicated that cardio-respiratory arrest constitutes over 80 per cent of life-threatening emergencies that confront doctors and is responsible for major emergency calls in hospital wards, theatres, casualty and pre-hospital environment.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo observed that the country was in danger if it failed to train more personnel in emergency medicine.
Dr George Oduro of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi said the lack of funding and governmental support were some of the challenges faced in improving Ghana’s emergency medicine.
In a presentation on the topic, ‘The past, present and future of Emergency Medicine in Africa’, he noted that “medicine in general and EM in particular were not supported by the government.”
Story: Naa Lamiley Bentil