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Establishment of emergency medical services in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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In February 1998, an Israeli Medical Delegation that included two ED Directors and one Deputy Head Nurse of the ED, was founded in order to introduce the emergency medicine (EM) profession and to help in establishing an EM system in Addis Ababa. The program was produced in coordination with an Ethiopian physician who visited the ED in his fellowship and was very impressed with the Israeli system.

With the approval of the International Relation of the Foreign Bureau of the State of Israel, the team traveled to Ethiopia to consider the possibility that the program could be changed according to the needs in the field.

The program consisted of several issues in EM: administrative concepts of ED building; organization of the ED; the role of Emergency Nurses in the team; trauma and the treatment of critical care; study and practices of Basic Life Support; advanced Cardiac Life Support; and Trauma Life Support.

The participants on the program included twenty physicians and ten nurses who work in emergency services. The first meeting was dedicated to study the existing system in Addis Ababa. With poor conditions, lack of necessary equipment, medication and resources, and with lack of basic knowledge, the health system in Addis Ababa cannot start re-organization without help.

Yet there is a new movement of physicians who are ready to take responsibility and be part of the change. The Israeli team gave the recommendation to the authorities in Israel to continue education among the Ethiopian staff-nurses, physicians, technicians, and Paramedics.

This paper examines EM in Addis Ababa, the course, and recommendation for the future. Furthermore, in addition to the program that has been developed until now, the Israeli team with the cooperation of some American physicians plans to continue the program in December 1999 that will include studies and meetings with policy makers in Addis Ababa.

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Benin-Goren, O., Halpern, P., Amir, S. et al. Establishment of emergency medical services in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Crit Care 4 (Suppl 1), P197 (2000).

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