According to the World Health Organization, 90% of all injury-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, but often health care facilities in developing nations are unable to provide much-needed emergency services. And while injury -- in particular road traffic injury (RTI) -- has received increasing attention, strategies to strengthen trauma care have often been lacking.

 As part of the Road Safety in Ten Countries (RS-10) project, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) has been tasked with implementing, monitoring, and evaluating trauma care in Kenya, because, while we recognize that injury prevention is the primary overall objective of the RS-10 project, even with the best interventions, injuries will continue to occur.

To that end, in an effort to build collaboration and consensus among the many organizations and individuals who provide initial care for the injured patient, Dr. Kent Stevens, JH-IIRU Associate Director for Trauma Systems and Clinical Services, co-led an Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) symposium in one of the two RS-10 intervention sites in Kenya.

“Connecting the Dots: A Unified EMS System in Kenya” was held from August 7-8, in Naivasha. Jointly sponsored by JH-IIRU and the CDC Kenya, the conference was attended by key stakeholders involved in pre-hospital and hospital care in Kenya. The attendees included emergency medical technicians as well as representatives from the Kenyan Ministry of Medical Services, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation as well as Kenyatta National Hospital and non-governmental organizations and academics.

The symposium aimed to cover all aspects of trauma care in Kenya, from preparedness to response, with an emphasis on how policy can be implemented and ways to engage decision makers in the country.

Dr, Stevens characterized the conference as a resounding success, “The discussions were lively and helpful, with wide participation and a solid plan of action put in place.”

Through improvement of pre-hospital and hospital care and understanding the experience of the injured patient in Kenya, JH-IIRU to will continue our commitment to saving lives, both in the short-term and for years to come.

EMS Kenya
Participants of "Connecting the Dots: A Unified EMS System in Kenya"