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MMUST-LFR International Conduct First Responder Training to Community Health Workers to Develop Formal Emergency Medical Services in Kakamega County

Workshop participants at MMUST’s Main Catering Unit.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, in conjunction with LFR International, an affiliate of Michigan University, has conducted a First Responder training to Community Health Workers (CHWs) in an effort to develop official Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Kakamega County. On Tuesday, 14th March, 2023, the University, through the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Sciences (SONMAPS), kicked off a four-day training workshop which targeted CHWs from twelve (12) Kakamega Sub-Counties, as well as MMUST staff. The training was facilitated by the Director of Trauma Care at LFR International, Dr. Nathanael Smith.

During the official opening ceremony of the workshop, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Planning, Research and Innovation), Prof. Charles Mutai, pointed out that emergency response training is crucial to ensuring that healthcare providers are equipped with skills to effectively handle emergencies. “As a University, we value such training as they are tailored to improve the competence of our staff, students and members of the surrounding community. I am pleased to see that MMUST is teaming up with the County Government of Kakamega, and the University of Michigan, to empower healthcare providers in the region,” said Prof. Mutai, who was representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo.

Workshop participants at MMUSTs Main Catering Unit2

DVC (Planning, Research and Innovation), Prof. Charles Mutai gives his remarks at the MMUST- LFR International Workshop.

“First responder training is very important for not only medical experts to enhance their services, but also for each person to understand what to do in an unexpected situation,” stated the Dean SONMAPS, Mr. John Arudo. Further, Mr. Arudo said that SONMAPS is dedicated to enhancing the quality of health training at MMUST, adding that Malteser International (MI), Germany, has funded the refurbishment and equipment of the University’s high fidelity simulated laboratory.

Dr. Smith, who is also an assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Global Health Equity Fellow at Boston University (School of Medicine), enlightened the participants on scene safety, trauma assessment, as well as the Lay First Responder Model. “This training is the first step towards bridging gaps in prehospital emergency trauma care. Our goal at LFR International is to prevent deaths and to minimize complications of trauma patients,” he stated.

Workshop participants at MMUSTs Main Catering Unit3

Dr. Nathanael Smith giving a presentation.

The Chairperson, Department of Paramedical Sciences, Dr. Tecla Sum, revealed that in 2021, MMUST and Michigan University used a Prehospital Emergency Trauma Care Assessment Tool (PETCAT) to evaluate the care provision in all major referral hospitals in the 47 Counties of Kenya. “Kakamega County had the lowest PETCAT score of 1.87/10. The study also found that trauma is the leading cause of deaths in Kenya, with an 87.3 mortality rate,” said Dr. Sum, adding that this particular workshop used the Training of Trainers (ToT) Model.

Other members on this project are; LFR International-Dr. Peter G. Delaney and Dr. Zachary J. Eisner; MMUST-Ms. Dinah Okwiri, Mr. Simon Ogana, Ms. Lydia Nyachiro, Ms. Doris Tuitoek and Ms. Lucy Kageha.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology has clearly demonstrated its dedication to giving back to the community, by continually imparting knowledge and skills to the residents of Kakamega County and beyond. The partnership between MMUST, the University of Michigan and its affiliates, has so far yielded great results and will undoubtedly improve the state of emergency medical services in Kenya.

By Wangari Wambugu

Photos by Shiundu Masafu

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