The challenges presented by traumatic injuries in low-resource communities are especially relevant in South Sudan. This study was conducted to assess whether a 3-day wilderness first aid (WFA) training course taught in South Sudan improved first aid knowledge. Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) Schools designed the course to teach people with limited medical knowledge to use materials from their environment to provide life-saving care in the event of an emergency.
A pre-test/post-test study design was used to assess first aid knowledge of 46 community members in Kit, South Sudan, according to a protocol approved by the University of New England Institutional Review Board. The course and assessments were administered in English and translated in real-time to Acholi and Arabic, the two primary languages spoken in the Kit region. Descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation analyses were conducted.
Results included a statistically significant improvement in first aid knowledge after the 3-day training course: t(38)=3.94; P<.001. Although men started with more health care knowledge: (t(37)=2.79; P=.008), men and women demonstrated equal levels of knowledge upon course completion: t(37)=1.56; P=.88.
This research, which may be the first of its kind in South Sudan, provides evidence that a WFA training course in South Sudan is efficacious. These findings suggest that similar training opportunities could be used in other parts of the world to improve basic medical knowledge in communities with limited access to medical resources and varying levels of education and professional experiences.
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