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Novel EM system launched for island populations of Lake Victoria, Kenya

21 Oct 2016

Remote and rural populations face unique barriers to accessing acute care. For residents of isolated regions such as Mfangano Island on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria, poverty and geography are serious obstacles in receiving necessary emergency health services. Mfangano Island residents face dangerous delays in receiving healthcare due to a lack of knowledge of when, where and how to access acute health services, coupled with limited financial resources and unreliable transportation.

The Organic Health Response, with the Ekialo Kiona Center, has initiated a novel approach to improve access to acute care on Mfangano Island, Kenya.  The recently piloted and expanded Health Navigation program has demonstrated great success in linking patients to emergency care services. 

In the Health Navigation Program, community health workers are trained to be “Health Navigators.” Health Navigator responsibilities include:

-          Providing first-aid
-          Coordinating the swift response of a motorbike and locally built emergency boat
-          Communicating advanced notice to mainland facilities
-          Ensuring each patient reaches definitive care and receives adequate follow-up

They have trained over 20 Community Health Workers based on a curriculum adapted from the African Federation for Emergency Medicine and conducted by clinical officers from the Kenyan Ministry of Health.

Officially launched in July 2014, Health Navigators have responded to over 250 emergency cases.  To the best of our knowledge, the Health Navigator Program on Mfangano Island is the first time the theory of an emergency health navigator is being implemented and evaluated in a rural setting in a developing country.  Based on pilot program success, they are expanding the program to the rest of Mfangano Island and adjacent islands.

Visit their WEBSITE to learn more, and check out this great promotional VIDEO of the program. 

South Africa

South AfricaSouth Africa

EMSSA represents a group of enthusiastic healthcare professionals dedicated to the development of quality emergency care throughout South Africa. Emergency Medicine has only recently been recognized as an independent speciality, although this country has always had a large burden of patients presenting to our pre-hospital and hospital emergency services with experienced and passionate personnel rendering much needed care.



The Emergency Medicine Association of Tanzania (EMAT) was formed in May 2010  by doctors and nurses with active involvement in emergency care in Tanzania. The President is Dr Hendry Robert Sawe, of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences(MUHAS)-Dar es salaam. The objective of EMAT is to Pioneer, promote and advocate for dissemination of emergency care in Tanzania, through Teaching, research and education of emergency care.



The Botswana Society for Emergency Care (BSEC) held it's foundational meeting in November 2010, and was officially registered as a society in Botswana in September 2011. BSEC's mission is to promote advocate for emergency care in Botswana through teaching, research, and education. BSEC liases with partners from EMSSA and AFEM, and supports the emergency medicine post-graduate training program at the University of Botswana School of Medicine. Since it's inception, BSEC has hosted seminars on emergency triage, pre-hospital care, and acute care needs in Botswana.



The Ethiopian Society of Emergency Medical Professionals was formed in 2012. The President is Dr Sisay Teklu, of Addis Ababa University. The objective of ESEP is to assist in development of hospital and Pre-Hospital emergency care.



LEMA will encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of emergency medicine, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the ER physicians. It will offer to the interdisciplinary team the necessary tools for the interaction with the critically ill patient and their families from a holistic perspective.



SEMPON held their inaugural scientific conference in September 2014, themed: "The State of Emergency Care in Nigeria: the Way Forward". The objective of the organisation is to evaluate the state of emergency care in Nigeria, and engineer cooperation and partnership among key stakeholders.



The president of the Egyptian Society for Emergency Medicine is Dr. Hussein Sabri. It was formed in 2012, and is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of emergency medicine. It is an interdisciplinary organisation whose members are involved in the provision of emergency care.