The development of sustainable emergency care in Ghana: physician, nursing and prehospital care training initiatives.

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Journal Title

The journal of emergency medicine

MeSH Headings

Education, Medical, Continuing, Education, Medical, Graduate, Education, Nursing, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Medicine, Ghana, Humans, Internship and Residency, Program Development


BACKGROUND: Ghana's first Emergency Medicine residency and nursing training programs were initiated in 2009 and 2010, respectively, at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in the city of Kumasi in association with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the Universities of Michigan and Utah. In addition, the National Ambulance Service was commissioned initially in 2004 and has developed to include both prehospital transport services in all regions of the country and Emergency Medical Technician training. Over a decade of domestic and international partnership has focused on making improvements in emergency care at a variety of institutional levels, culminating in the establishment of comprehensive emergency care training programs.

OBJECTIVE: We describe the history and status of novel postgraduate emergency physician, nurse, and prehospital provider training programs as well as the prospect of creating a board certification process and formal continuing education program for practicing emergency physicians.

DISCUSSION: Significant strides have been made in the development of emergency care and training in Ghana over the last decade, resulting in the first group of Specialist-level emergency physicians as of late 2012, as well as development of accredited emergency nursing curricula and continued expansion of a national Emergency Medical Service.

CONCLUSION: This work represents a significant move toward in-country development of sustainable, interdisciplinary, team-based emergency provider training programs designed to retain skilled health care workers in Ghana and may serve as a model for similar developing nations.



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