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Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Emergency Department (KATH ED) is a tertiary referral center in Ghana. Anecdotally, patients seeking care at KATH ED do not actively participate in research initiatives.
To find out why patients presenting to KATH ED do not enroll in research studies that are conducted in the department.
The study was a cross-sectional survey of patients presenting to the ED for one month in June 2017. A semi-structured questionnaire was presented to patients presenting to KATH ED from 8:00-20:00 each day. Patients who were interviewed were all patients presenting to the ED for care, including those who had refused to enroll in the ongoing ACESO study. Patients had to be conscious, alert, and with conditions that did not require immediate management.
35% of the interviewees (91/260) had been approached to enroll in research studies at some point in the past. 13.5% had refused to enroll in a research study. 45.7% of those who refused to enroll admitted that they were afraid to enroll in a study; 28.6% had inadequate information and 22.9% perceived enrolling in a study would delay their treatment. The Akan language (73%) was most commonly used by research assistants then English (26%), and finally Hausa (1%) to interact with patients. There was a significant association between educational background and explaining a study to a patient before they enrolled. Males were more willing to enroll in an ongoing study compared to females. All age groups correlated significantly with being approached to enroll in a research study and similarly all age groups also correlated with refusing to enroll in a research study
Patients are paramount to hospital research. Efforts must be made to ensure that patients concerns and needs are addressed to ensure increasing participation.
The continuous development of the knowledge and skill of the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in Ghana is important for the success of the pre-hospital system. Due to distance and time constraints, an online e-learning platform is a good way to educate the Emergency Medicine Technicians in Ghana.
The study looked at the feasibility of developing a distant learning module for the training and continuous medical education of EMTs.
EMTs in the Ashanti Region were randomly selected to be part of the study. They received online lectures and notes that were accessible by their mobile phones. They all received a test at the end of each model. The study measured their willingness to participate, average attendance for each model, and the scores for each model test. The study also measured the overall feasibility of the distant learning program.
The study developed a training course comprised of 7 modules: trauma and surgical emergencies, obstetric emergencies, pediatric emergencies, disaster management, medical emergencies, basic ultrasound, and medical research. Tests and quizzes were electronically sent to EMTs over the course of the research period, with an average test score of 70.14% (low: 35%, high: 95%) for the cohort. Feedback from participants showed gains in knowledge and skill delivery. The average attendance for all model was 56.6% ranging from 47.37%-63.16% for the models. Challenges for attendance included internet access, heavy duties, and other personal reasons. The post-training interview showed 100% willingness to participate in future online programs with the most common reasons stated as low cost, ease of attendance for models, and reduced expense.
The study concluded that online, distant learning models can be used in Ghana for training and continuous medical education for EMTs. It is an easy and cost-effective model compared to a face-to-face model.
Disaster Medicine training in most parts of the world is done in a practical manner to allow users to practice the skills of triage and resource allocation.
To develop a low-cost tabletop simulation and measure its effectiveness from the user perspective.
A modified Delphi approach was used in developing a low-cost tabletop simulation exercise. Simple playing cards were used as patients with specific vitals and injuries. Two Hundred trainees of the National Ambulance Service were used to test the exercise. All the participants had an equal chance to triage a patient and arrange transport to an appropriate facility.
All participants expressed their satisfaction in the design and implementation of the tabletop exercise. Over 90% showed interest in replicating the exercise in their respective setting due to the low-cost nature of the setup. During the exercise6. 0% of the patients were triaged correctly, while 80% were transported from the scene in an orderly manner. All the participants agreed on the useful and educational value of the exercise.
The use of a low-cost tabletop exercise in disaster medicine training is essential for low- and middle-income countries to promote education, and has been shown to be acceptable and feasible.
Over the last two decades, Frequency Modulation (FM) radio has been established as the only form of sound broadcasting in Ghana. Radio is the most accessible of mass media. There are more than 40 operational radio stations in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Most stations are commercial, broadcasting in the local language (Asante-Twi). Many urban radio health slots discuss various diseases and their treatments mainly for the benefit of patients. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners who are able to pay for airtime dominate as ‘experts’ in most of these shows.
We identified an IEC gap regarding policies governing healthcare delivery, healthcare financing, training, ethics and research, and environmental issues. In June 2015, orthodox medical practitioners collaborated with a private, local, English-speaking radio station to produce and host a weekly health show whose content was aimed at holistically discussing health from the viewpoint of practitioners, clients, policy makers, administrators, and financiers in a simplified language for the general public, including healthcare trainees.
The show dubbed “Staying Alive” first aired on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at 20:00 GMT and continues to air to date, appealing to a wide range of active listeners. “Staying Alive” to the best of our knowledge remains the only show with a holistic approach to health. Over the last 23 months, we have experienced challenges in sustaining sponsorship to fund the cost of production and airtime for the show, and the cost of effectively assessing the public health impact of the show. Orthodox medical practitioners can employ mass radio as an effective tool for advocacy, information dissemination, and education of clients or health trainees in low or middle-income urban settings through effective collaboration with media stations.