Fondation Pierre Fabre

A community based first responder system providing free care to traffic injury victims

Main beneficiary country:
Bangladesh

About the sponsor

TraumaLink

TraumaLink is a community-based network of first responders for traffic injury victims. It utilizes an emergency hotline number and 24/7 call center with local volunteers trained in basic trauma first aid, provided with essential medical supplies, and dispatched by SMS messaging to rapidly provide free care at the crash scene. The training curriculum teaches simple but life-saving skills that can be learned and performed by people with any level of education and no prior medical background. The strong community support and rapid, reliable volunteer responses suggest that this cost-effective model could be expanded throughout Bangladesh and adapted for other developing nations.

Sector: Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Country of origin: Bangladesh

The organisation has:

11
Full-Time Equivalents
14
Employees
545
Volunteers
2
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Emergency services

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • National (in one country only)

Initiative start date

  • 11/23/2014

Financing

Financing method

  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)
  • Government agency (i.e AFD, USAID, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • Advertising
  • Donations

About the initiative

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a rapidly growing epidemic throughout the developing world but often get less recognition and attention than other healthcare challenges. Bangladesh is one of the nations hardest hit by the RTI epidemic, but lacks a dedicated prehospital emergency medical system, meaning that traffic injury victims often have little or no access to skilled first aid when it can be most effective.

To address this need, carefully selected men and women from the local community receive one full day of training on basic trauma first aid from a Bangladeshi physician-trainer. The classes combine didactics with a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, and class size is limited to 15 students to ensure individual attention for all participants. The curriculum focuses on the basics of trauma first aid, safe patient transport, and mass casualty triage with an emphasis on skills that are easy to teach, learn, and perform but also life-saving.

Thoughout the widespread and rapidly growing use of mobile technology in Bangladesh give a powerful tool for organizing volunteer emergency services,to provide guidance, education, and first aid supplies in particular.

The service formally began operations on 23 November 2014 on a 14 km stretch of the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway and, in its first five years, expanded to a total of 135 km of coverage on three major highways. Every call to the service has received a response, and volunteers have arrived at the crash scene within 5 minutes in 87% of cases. The majority of their patients are young men, who are often family breadwinners, so the benefits of the program extend far beyond the patients themselves, also impacting all their family and the people who rely on them.

When the operators receive a call they determine where the crash occurred and how many people have been injured. As soon as this information is entered into their custom designed call center software, the computer automatically generates text messages to volunteers closest to the crash scene. This leaves the operator free to call Police and Fire Services as needed.

Locally sourced first aid supplies are provided and maintained by TraumaLink, and stored in locations that can be accessed 24 hours a day. First responders are supervised by paid full-time field staff, who provide local support and quality control as well as a vital link between the central office in Dhaka and the communities served. After patients are treated at the crash scene, operators make a rough assessment of the severity of injuries based on information from the first responders. Volunteers then use this information in taking patients to the nearest hospital that can provide an appropriate level of care for their injuries.

Many of the dangers and challenges facing Bangladeshi road users are found throughout the developing world. TraumaLink has therefore developed a simple, low cost, and easily scalable model that utilizes resources available in most LMICs. This program can be expanded throughout Bangladesh and also adapted for other developing nations facing similar challenges.

Field report of the initiative

Fields of application:

Health professional training - Telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultations) - Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC) - Patient monitoring and medical data - Financial access to care, microinsurance - Pre-hospital Emergency Services, First Responder Training for Community Members

Target audience

  • Entire population

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Reduced suffering
  • Improved treatment

Key figures

2700 Number of beneficiaries since launch

70 Number of users per Month

Materials used

  • Cellular (mobile) phone
  • Smartphone
  • Computer

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet
  • Geolocation
  • Graphic User Interface designed specifically for call center

Offline use

No

Open Source

No

Open Data

Yes

Independent evaluation

Yes
auto-evaluated or evaluated by a related organization

Partners

mPower Social Enterprises

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Centre for Injury Prevention and Research in Bangladesh

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Partners

Collaborators

startupBrics