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Emergency and Pre-Hospital Care in Pakistan

According to The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013 published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), most instances of death in Pakistan were a result of road accidents, and comprised a tragically young demographic between 15-29 years-old, for the most part. The number of deaths and injuries caused by road accidents is mounting at a ferocious rate. There is a dire need to take essential measures to overcome this disquieting state-of-affairs. Emergency and pre-hospital care plays an instrumental role in the treatment of people involved in road accidents. Pre-hospital care helps in reducing the morbidity and mortality of those who are injured before they reach the hospital. The lack of proper pre-hospital care can be really dangerous and may seriously worsen the injuries sustained.

According to a recent study 40% or more patients die due to negligence on the way to the hospital or lack of equipment or medicine. Unfortunately there is a major lack of suitable pre-hospital care in Pakistan. Even though, the efforts of NGO like Aman Foundation, Edhi and Chhipa have helped improve transportation of trauma victims, there is still a major issue of traffic that takes up a lot of valuable time.

The Aman Foundation is playing a very prominent role in overcoming these problems faced by emergency and trauma victims. A major contributor and helping hand in this regard is their Aman Ambulance service which comprises of a network of 80+ state-of-the-art ambulances, with doctors and emergency medical technicians (EMT) on board to provide comprehensive and continuous coverage to emergency cases in Karachi. While this service is charged at a nominal flat rate of PKR 300, it is completely free of cost for those who cannot afford to pay.

Despite the efforts of these NGOs, there still much room for improvement and there remains a need for advancement of the current state of emergency and pre hospital care in Pakistan. There is a need to ensure that the accident and emergency department staff is adequately trained, equipped and qualified to deal with a multitude of emergency cases and patients. There is a grave lack of funding in this department which is the sole responsibility of the government.

The initiatives taken by Aman Foundation serves as an example for all the NGOs to follow and we hope that their efforts are recognized by Government and other concerned parties. They should play their part and help bring positive changes regarding this serious matter. With an initiative towards a concerted effort by both the government and health and medical department of Pakistan, we can drastically improve upon the current medical treatment provided to patients or accident victims.

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