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Role of Prehospital Care Systems and First Responders during the COVID-19 Crisis.

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Published by markohingi, 2020-04-28 03:05:30

Role of Pre hospital Care Systems and First Responders during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Role of Prehospital Care Systems and First Responders during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Keywords: Africa,Tanzania,First Responder,COVID-19,Pre Hospital,Healthcare,EMS

Role of Pre hospital Care Systems and First Responders during the

COVID-19 Crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis is quickly changing the
daily routines of countries across the globe,
ranging from short-term quarantines to
country-wide lockdowns. While Africa has
been slow to see confirmed cases of patients
with COVID-19, these numbers are increasing
daily and the UN estimates that many more
Africans will contract the virus in next few
weeks. While anyone can be infected, COVID-
19 is especially concerning for people with
underlying conditions like diabetes mellitus,
respiratory problems, and old age, as these
groups are more prone to infection due
to their compromised immunity.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across
the world, shortages of healthcare
professionals – both inside and outside the
hospital – are becoming common due to the
massive demands being placed on the
healthcare system.

Thanks to outreach and education campaigns Community First Responders
running on social media, many people are
learning of the need for social distancing to We are also using community responders to
limit their risk of exposure.However, there still provide prevention education about COVID-19
remains huge demand for services among to community members as well as sharing a
vulnerable communities like street children toll-free number for them to call when they see
and elderly individuals who can’t afford to people who present with unusual symptoms.
maintain social distancing while they struggle By serving as the eyes and ears on the
to find food and a place to sleep. While frontlines of the public health system, our
prehospital care systems in Africa are not fully community responders are building essential
built, perhaps now is the time to increase relationships across the community to ensure
support for them to help reduce mitigation. that vulnerable groups can reduce their risk
exposure while other systems struggle to
Pre hospital care systems can mobilize provide healthcare services to COVID-19
community volunteers as first responders in patients.
this time of crisis by delivering medications and
food to at-risk and vulnerable patients in their Supporting the participation of first responders
homes and reducing their risk of contracting and prehospital care systems, and equipping
COVID-19. The Mwanza Community First them proper personal protective equipment
Response Team, a first prehospital care system (PPE) is of paramount importance. By doing so,
pioneered in Mwanza, Tanzania, five years ago, we will be able to properly educate all
is a good example of this. Dispatched from a community groups in order to help them limit
local call centre, the Mwanza community their exposure risk, while also ensuring that
responders regularly responds to “routine” vulnerable groups can still access basic
emergencies such as traumatic injuries and healthcare services and have other essential
obstetric emergencies, providing basic first aid needs met during this pandemic.
while helping to arrange for transport to
hospital. Dr. Marko Hingi
The pre hospital responders, including
Bodaboda drivers, university medical students, Tanzania Rural Health Movement
and community health workers are in a unique
position to deliver other essential goods to
high-risk and vulnerable populations during
the COVID-19 outbreak,

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