In sub-Saharan Africa, 41% of all deaths and 39% of the morbidity burden can potentially be addressed by emergency care . Road traffic injuries may dramatically increase this burden in the coming years . In many emergencies, prompt and adequate care can increase the likelihood of survival and recovery. Pre-hospital care is a vital initial step; however, it is often unavailable in sub-Saharan Africa. When an emergency occurs, basic first responders often constitute the sole source of initial help, and emergency transport often consists of a ride in taxis, private cars, or public transport . Studies in Ghana and Uganda demonstrated that training basic first responders leads to improved provision of help in the absence or anticipation of medical care .
Therefore, the World Bank has promoted first aid training as an inexpensive way to save lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
The distinct African burden of disease and injury, the limited access to formal health care, the strong embeddedness of cultural remedies, and poverty all call for specific first aid guidelines. However, first aid training in sub-Saharan Africa is often based on handbooks prepared outside of the continent that are not adapted to the African context. Although well-intentioned, such resources sometimes lead to misdirected, inadequate, or even harmful training instructions. Several African Fire and Rescue expressed the need for first aid materials adapted to the African context. We are not aware of any evidence-based reference that comprehensively addresses how basic first responders should be trained to manage emergency situations in an African context. Since evidence-based reviews with relevance to low- and middle-income countries are scarce, this added to the importance of our work . Our guidelines are intended to guide those responsible for first aid programmes and to form the basis of African training materials. We defined first aid as “appropriate and beneficial help to a suddenly ill or injured person which is initiated as soon as possible and continued until that person has recovered or medical care is available”.
The Fire and Rescue has made provisions for the purpose of the Road Traffic Accidents;
- Rescuing people in event of Road Traffic Accidents in its area;
- Protecting people from serious harm, to the extent that it is considers it reasonable to do so, in the event of Road Traffic Accident, in its area;
- Make arrangements for dealing with calls for help and for summoning personnel;
- Making arrangements for obtaining information needed for the purpose of averting or limiting Road Traffic Accidents
- Making arrangements for ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to prevent or limit damage to property resulting from action taken pursuant to the provisions of this section.