Applications of E-waste in First Aid Services in GhanaPublic
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Emergency medical services (EMS) in Ghana are often overlooked and while there is a national ambulance service present, many Ghanaians opt to use other modes of transportation in emergency situations. A 2013 survey in Accra found that only 43.8% polled participants knew about the “112” emergency medical service. Out of those individuals, only 54.7% knew that emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provided medical care, and 78% still believed that a taxi would have a shorter transport time. While perceptions of EMS in Ghana are low, usage is even lower. In the survey with 468 participants, only 4.5% had used an ambulance service in an emergency situation (Mould-Millman et al., 2015). With an average response time of almost 17 minutes and an average transport time of 82 minutes, it makes sense why people in Ghana more often use taxi services for medical emergencies despite the lack of medical training held by taxi drivers (Mahama, 2018). This project aims to co-design a first aid jump bag out of E-waste, and provide the necessary instructions for replication of said bag. Driving conditions in Ghana are unsuitable for large ambulances, and taxi services already pick up the EMS slack. This project seeks to design methods for equipping taxi drivers with skills and supplies that enable them as first responders. Serious and potential mechanisms of injury that follow a car accident include protrusions, blunt trauma, severe stress and burns. These mechanisms can cause heavy internal bleeding, severe skin damage, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks, dislocations, and more. Taxi drivers in Ghana currently have little to no resources to manage these life-threatening emergencies. As a result, studies on Ghanaian road traffic accidents have concluded that the lack of medical training held by taxi drivers and the corresponding lack of prehospital care that patients receive has directly impacted road accident mortality rates. This project aims to address the need for prehospital medical care in the absence of the current emergency medical services system. Since taxis are very common in this area, if taxi drivers had access to training in basic life support (BLS) and a jump-bag of easy-to-use but essential medical equipment, they could begin to address immediate and severe concerns to a patient’s airway, breathing and circulation (ABCs). By providing residents in Ghana with the understanding and resources to replicate basic splinting and bandaging tools, this project group hopes to support Ghanian prehospital care for trauma-induced medical emergencies.
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