Welsh trauma pack to save lives on Namibia’s roads
A life-saving trauma pack to treat the victims of road traffic collisions in developing countries will save “countless lives” after funding was secured for a major trial.
The trauma packs have been developed by MediWales board member Professor Judith Hall of Cardiff University, along with colleagues from Cardiff Metropolitan University.
They will be used to tackle the extremely high death rates on Namibia’s roads.
The Medical Research Council Public Health Intervention Development Scheme, which supports interventions that address an important global or UK public health issue, is providing funding of £150,000 for the trial.
Non-medical specialists such as police, drivers, senior villagers and chiefs will be trained to use the low-cost packs in the first ‘golden hour’ when lives are saved after trauma.
The packs, which contain life-saving equipment with simple instructions, have been created with clinicians from the Welsh National Health Service and industry partner BCB International.
Namibia was chosen because Professor Hall already leads Cardiff University’s successful Phoenix Project in the country in collaboration with the University of Namibia.
The Phoenix Project is part of Cardiff University’s Transforming Communities programme, which works with communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing. Phoenix supports Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa project.
Professor Hall said: “I am delighted that the Phoenix Project is able to help with the introduction of the trauma packs in Namibia, a country with one of the worst road traffic accident problems in the world. The packs provide intuitive, life-saving equipment and easily understood instructions, and I expect them to save countless lives.”
Professor Hall added that she was delighted a second Namibian university, the Namibian University of Science and Technology, was also involved through its paramedic school.
Professor Hywel Thomas, Cardiff University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, said: “This wouldn’t have happened without the work of Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project, which is having a meaningful impact on people’s lives in Namibia in the areas of education, health, communication and science. I hope that this latest innovative intervention, involving many collaborators in Wales and Namibia, will eventually be expanded across Namibia and to developing countries elsewhere in the world.”
The trauma packs have been field tested in Zambia through Professor Hall’s Mothers of Africa charity, with support from the Welsh Ambulance Service and first responders in Wales. The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and International Red Cross have also assisted with the testing and development.