In many parts of the developing world, hospitals are far away and nearby healthcare providers lack the skills to deliver emergency medical care. With the proper training and tools, however, access to quality emergency care can be greatly improved, says Dr. Rachel Moresky, assistant professor of medicine and population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians & Surgeons.
“By decentralizing emergency care [and training and equipping local healthcare workers], we can bring that closer to the communities so that they can access that emergency care,” says Moresky in a video interview during the recent GE Developing Health Summit, which brought together the GE Foundation’s partners in global health. Her commitment to improving emergency medical care in rural settings led to the creation of Columbia University’s Systems Improvement at District Hospitals and Regional Training of Emergency Care (sidHARTe) program. Launched in Ghana in 2008, sidHARTe has since expanded to Rwanda, Kenya, Honduras and Cambodia.
A key to sidHARTe’s success is that the group works jointly with the ministries of health in the countries to ensure the program’s sustainability, while ensuring buy-in at the community level. “If you have the health-seeking behavior, and you don’t have the right care at the end facility, you’re not going to actually accomplish what you want to and have the impact on decreasing morbidity and mortality,” Moresky says in the interview:
(Top image: Courtesy of sidHARTe)