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​Global Emergency Care is dedicated to make lifesaving medical care available to all.

Global Emergency Care (GEC) runs a two-year, emergency medicine training program for non-physician clinicians, in collaboration with local and national institutions.

The Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) program is designed to teach symptoms based emergency medicine to educate strong clinicians, as well as teach clinicians how to be quality educators to train the incoming classes.

​After completion of the course, the ECPs work as qualified clinicians and teach the incoming classes of ECP students. The goal is to build a scalable, emergency care system, with our graduates teaching courses across the country.

Every year, thousands of people in Uganda, many of them children, die needlessly because they don’t have access to emergency care. In a country that currently lacks any Ugandan-trained emergency care physicians, many are dying from easily treatable conditions such as diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, or injuries because they don’t get the right care or any care at all. GEC saves lives by teaching healthcare providers how to recognize and treat these illnesses and injuries quickly and effectively. 

What we do works. Since 2009, GEC-trained ECPs have treated more than 80,000 patients who otherwise would not have received care. Many more patients are surviving due to the training we’ve provided. Our goal is to grow the program so that all Ugandans will have access to lifesaving emergency care.

At GEC, we believe health care is a human right. That is why our mission is to create access to lifesaving medical care for all Ugandans. To fulfill our mission, we have created a Theory of Change – a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why we expect to implement this desired change within Uganda. Join us and help make lifesaving care available to everyone!
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Emergency Care in Low Resource Settings

By: Birungi Alfunsi

Alfunsi in the ED at Masaka Hospital

“The beauty of being in the emergency department is the feeling you get when you save a life. The little one who is brought in with hypoglycemia will shortly smile at you when it has been corrected. The mother will be smiling, and tears will be dry. Most interesting is when you help someone breathe.”

I am Birungi Alfunsi, an Emergency Care Practitioner, with 10 years of practice experience in the rural emergency care setting in Uganda.

Here I discuss the critical aspects of the practice of emergency care in low resource setting. Little is known about the availability and utilization of emergency care services in developing countries, here referred to as low resource settings.

When the need for emergency care arises, there are only two options: a) appropriate intervention to save a life, or b) no intervention and lose a life.

The beauty of being in the emergency department is the feeling you get when you save a life. The little one who is brought in with hypoglycemia will shortly smile at you when it has been corrected. The mother will be smiling, and tears will be dry. Most interesting is when you help someone breathe.

Normally in low resource settings, the interventions to emergencies are largely provided by general practitioners with no appropriate training in delivering emergency care services. Most of the time those emergencies are managed as other conditions, as they would be on a normal outpatient day without consideration of the golden hour (the only time left for intervention or to lose a life).

In some areas, an emergency is only understood as a trauma and treatment rooms are labeled as causality wards. The rest of the non-trauma cases are treated in the outpatient department.

More resources in education and training are required to score higher in emergency care in low resource settings. Equipment such as glucometers, pulse oximeters, defibrillators, and many others are not available for use due to the lack of trained staff, not so much due to the cost as one might expect.

All in all, emergency care in low resource settings remains a big arena to pay attention to, where education and skills development can have an outsized impact for saving lives.

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Learn more about GEC’s innovative model of emergency care training and service delivery in this new video featuring GEC’s work in Uganda.

TO BRING LIFESAVING MEDICAL CARE TO ALL,
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