Profile: Assessing Emergency Care Systems in Nigeria
The lack of emergency care systems in Nigeria leads to preventable morbidity and mortality. Emergency services needs assessment will help identify gaps and high-value investment priorities.
Project: In 2008 we undertook an analytical study of Nigeria’s capacity for a public safety answering system (emergency medical services, EMS) which currently does not exist in a form that serves the purpose. The impetus was a realization that a significant component of EMS delivery capacity, real-time communications, had emerged in Nigeria and is growing. Landline communications infrastructure, the Achilles heel of prior efforts, had suddenly been rendered near irrelevant by wireless communications explosion. To explore the possibility of mobilizing this nascent resource we conducted an assessment of Nigeria’s EMS capacity. Findings from the study which included the spectrum of large and small players are insightful with profound strategy implications for establishing an EMS system in Nigeria.
Key findings: highly fragmented systems with poor communication between the multiple players, lack of classification of hospital by resources available, lack of specific policies to ensure emergent treatment and stabilization.
Going forward, we retain a keen interest in continuing with hospital level resource analyses at several urban centers in Nigeria.
Profile: Pilot EMS Delivery: Collaboration with Lifeline Care Foundation, Abuja Nigeria
Lifeline Care is a six year old startup non-profit in Abuja whose primary mission is the provision of first responder emergency medical care to road traffic victims. It relies on individual and corporate donors for funding.
The majority of services to date have been pro bono. The emergency response unit is staffed or 24 hour coverage with total provider capacity is 2 drivers and 2 paramedics.
Project: Obala is helping Lifeline Care revise its operational strategy to
- broaden its capacity and increase its industry footprint (scaling up)
- position itself for sustainability in its current landscape
Significance: the lack of a basic emergency response system in a Nigeria was a core impetus for the founding of Obala Foundation. Obala and Lifeline are committed to helping establish this infrastructure in Nigeria.