By: Justicia Shipena
About 75 per cent of people die on the scene when involved in a car crash. This was revealed by the motor vehicle accident fund’s senior manager for emergency management Ruben Uupindi last week.
“95 per cent of people die on scene, and about three to four per cent die en route to hospitals, in the ambulance or other vehicles used,” said Uupindi.
He also said 23 per cent of those involved in vehicle accidents die in the chain of hospitals.
“23 per cent die somewhere through the value chain of the hospital starting at causality,” he said.
In terms of emergency medical services (EMS), he said a lot still has to be done, especially in rural areas of the country.
“We, therefore, call for considered effort to ensure that the objectives of action for road safety are achieved, which are to halt both injuries and fatalities by 50 per cent by the year 2030.”
Eugene Tendekule, executive secretary at the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), says the potential contribution of the EMS to the attainment of the second decade of action goal of a 50 per cent reduction of fatalities and injuries by 2030 is undisputed.
“This is to ensure improved emergency response and trauma care in the country,” he said.
He added that the NRSC had entered into an agreement with the health ministry and facilitated the training of 75 officials in the medical sector.
“25 of which were doctors, 25 ambulance drivers, as well as registered nurses in various training including basic life support amongst others.”
Speaking at the same event, health minister Kalumbi Shangula said it is critical to have in place well-developed functional and reliable emergency medical services.
“As such, emergency medical services systems have to be robust to be responsive and provide effective care as required,” he said.
Shangula commanded the practitioners in the emergency medical services on how they handled the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the pandemic has exposed many gaps and challenges in the provision of emergency care system services.
“While it stretched our capacity to the limit, it also proofed that our systems are resilient and have the capacity to respond to shocks,” he said.
He stated that the World Bank disease control priority projects estimate that with sound financing and organisation, emergency care systems have the potential to address nearly half of deaths and a third of disabilities annually in low and medium-income countries.
“More than 80 per cent of the Namibian population access and receive medical services from public health facilities, and about 60 per cent of patients seen at emergency departments are brought in by emergency service providers,” Shangula explained.
He concludes that emergency medical systems have evolved with new medical advancements and skills.