Document Type

Article

Department

Emergency Medicine (East Africa)

Abstract

The purpose of an effective emergency care system is to provide universal emergency care to all regardless of socioeconomic status, to stabilise patients who have a life-threatening illness or injury, and to reduce consequences of preventable mortality, morbidity and disability. Unfortunately, the limited availability of resources remains a significant barrier to the development and implementation of emergency care systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In this recent study from Cameroon, of 3201 participants from 619 households surveyed, 1113 (34.8%) had experienced one or more emergency conditions in the previous year. Despite this high incidence of emergency conditions, only 7% had accessed emergency centres; the primary reasons for not seeking healthcare being economic issues (37.2%) and use of complementary medicine (22.2%). Increased usage of emergency care systems and better public health may be achieved in LMICs by improving access to emergency care systems, affordability, reasonable payment systems for emergency care, and training highly skilled personnel with enhanced life-saving capability.

Publication

African Journal of Emergency Medicine

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