Country Needs and Priorities
Until recently ambulances in Bhutan did not have the means to provide emergency care while an injured patient was being transported to the nearest hospital, and staff in the hospitals were not trained in emergency medicine. In a country with rugged and mountainous terrain, transport to the nearest health care facility can take hours, which are critical to a trauma victim. The World Health Organization has identified trauma as representing 11% of the Global Burden of Disease in low and middle-income countries. There is also a rise in the number of vehicle related injuries and deaths, as well as threats of mass natural disasters. Therefore the need for improved emergency medical services is a priority in Bhutan.
The Bhutan Foundation has partnered with the Ministry of Health to develop a program to improve emergency medical services. The program will provide the National Hospital with Bhutan’s first fully equipped EMS ambulance, train a core team of trauma specialists and conduct workshops to train general doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, and emergency room technicians, as well as lay responders in emergency care and pre-hospital trauma life support.
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• Improve pre hospital care by conducting first responders workshops for police, fire, taxi drivers, nunneries, and the lay community.
• Develop capacity of health care workers in emergency medicine through training of doctors, nurses, and emergency room technicians.
• Provide a fully equipped EMS ambulance to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital and upgrade existing ambulances.
• Create a trauma registry and monitoring system to measure fully the impact of these interventions.
Ministry of Health
Phase I – Delivery of EMS Ambulance to the Thimphu hospital. Provide all basic health units with a reference guidebook Where There is No Doctor.
Phase II – Develop a Core Trauma Team:
Training for the core team consisting of doctors and nurses from the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital at Phelps Memorial Hospital in New York in prehospital care, advanced cardiac life support, advanced trauma life support, and pediatric advanced life support.
Phase III – Pre Hospital Care:
Conduct First Responders workshops for local police and firemen. Conduct workshop in emergency medical training for ambulance drivers. Upgrade existing ambulances with basic equipment. Provide all basic health units with First Aid Kits. Develop road safety awareness messages and advocacy programs. Launch a safety awareness fair.
Phase IV – Improve in hospital services:
Support a general medical officer to specialise as an Emergency Room physician. Train all general medical doctors in emergency medicine. Partner with Health Volunteer Overseas to provide a monthly volunteer ER physician for the National Hospital.
Phase V – Set up Health Management Information System:
Proposed development of trauma registry and monitoring system in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to track and evaluate impacts of having EMS services at the National Referral Hospital.
What it will achieve: The Emergency Medical Program aims to reduce mortality and disability rate from trauma and injury in Bhutan. It will also create jobs and develop skills through staffing and training of emergency medical providers. Through the EMS program, the physical capability of the hospital and clinics will also improve by providing equipment and necessary supplies.
Total Funding Raised: $357,556.00
Remaining Goal to be funded: $115,384.00
Total Funding Goal: $472,940.00
How you can help…….
$25 – for a first aid kit
$50 – for one person to be trained as first responder
$80 – to train one ambulance driver
$2000 – to sponsor a health volunteer
$20,000 – to upgrade an existing ambulance
$28,000 – to send one Bhutanese for medical school
$80,000 – to purchase a fully equipped EMS ambulance