The contribution of SHARE EMS to the development of EMS in Kenya

In the words of paramedics David Violante and George Contreras, the goal of SHARE EMS was to assist the people of Kenya to develop a sustainable EMS program. An EMS system where, “In future, the paramedics of Kenya may even be treating patients in a way that we ourselves have not thought of, addressing all aspects of their healthcare system, not only emergent ones.”

26th July 2017

 

SHARE (Society for Hospital and Resources Exchange) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is an American nongovernmental organization that came to Kenya in 1994 or thereabout to assist in developing a quality and comprehensive Pre-hospital EMS System.

By this time, the Kenyan disaster profile was mainly made up of droughts, floods and diseases. In this regard, they only conducted Basic Life Support in Kisumu and its environs.

About 11 years later in 2004, the Kenyan disaster profile had changed to include terror attacks like the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, 2002 car bombings in Mombasa, increased road traffic accidents, fires and even violence.

With a team of 4 paramedics, SHARE EMS conducted trainings in Thika and Kisumu focusing on Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support, Basic Cardiac Life Support, Paediatric Advanced Life Support, Mass Casualty Incident Management, Incident Command System as well as a variety of field training exercises in emergency response. They also donated equipment and reference materials for training and delivering care.

The effectiveness of SHARE EMS trainings was evident where for instance the Kisumu EMS team got a letter of commendation from H.E (rtd) President Mwai Kibaki for its efficient response to a plane crash in Busia. This was despite of the numerous challenges that the team faced.

In the words of paramedics David Violante and George Contreras, the goal of SHARE EMS was to assist the people of Kenya to develop a sustainable EMS program. An EMS system where, “In future, the paramedics of Kenya may even be treating patients in a way that we ourselves have not thought of, addressing all aspects of their healthcare system, not only emergent ones.”

Today, this goal has inspired the KNIGHTS EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES COMMUNITY PARAMEDICINE PROGRAM.

History from;
Violante, D. A., Contreras, G. W., (2004). Improvise and Overcome: Bringing EMS to Kenya Part 2. (EMS World, November, 1, 2004.)

 

BY:

Knights Emergency Medical Services

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