Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine

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What is Emergency Medicine?

Emergency Medicine (EM) is a rapidly expanding and stimulating specialty concentrated upon the urgent initial diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and injury. The specialty of EM is recognised internationally and started in USA in the 1950’s when physicians realised that the initial management of accidents and emergencies needed to be supervised by senior doctors to improve the outcome of the first few critical hours of a patient’s Emergency treatment. AFEM (The African Federation for Emergency Medicine) was founded in 2009 bringing together Emergency Medicine Specialist societies from South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Ethiopia.

This new discipline of Emergency Medicine concentrates upon the urgent diagnosis and treatment of  illness and injury to improve the outcome of the first few critical hours of a patient’s Emergency treatment.

Why does Uganda need Emergency Medicine Training?

The  need for specially trained staff to improve Emergency care in Uganda has been recognised at National level in the Ministry of Health. Infectious diseases have been reduced and controlled, but the rising disease burden from injury and heart disease and stroke will have profound implications for the way Ugandan Health system is organised. Emergency Medicine will be key player in coordinating and initiating treatment. The development of medical training is part of an overall development plan from the Ministry of Health which also has started a National Ambulance service, and prevent injury and illness at village and health centre  as well as transfer critically ill patients to new improved Emergency Departments in District and Referral Hospitals. This is to save lives of Ugandans with urgent medical illnesses and accidents. Ugandan Police have revealed that the number of victims of Road Traffic accidents has risen from 992 in 1993 to over 16,000 in 2013.

Who is being trained?

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) has admitted the pioneer group of doctors nurses and clinical officers to train them up in the new discipline of Emergency Medicine. MUST has admitted 6 doctors to a 3 year Program for medical specialists at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. A 2 year Diploma program has started for 9 nurses and clinical officers to become Emergency Care Practitioners training at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital.


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