I spent 2 years in Madagascar as a non-medical volunteer and saw the impact of poverty on the health of the Malagasy people. Now as a resident I have a desire to give back. I am an Emergency Medicine Resident and upon contacting the largest emergency department in Madagascar, we have found that aside from many resources, education is greatly needed. Emergency Medicine is one of the newest specialties and with that, many under developed countries lack appropriate and effective training in this specialty. We will focus on education while in the capitol city Antananarivo. This education will focus on trauma education including: initial assessment, stabilization, hemorrhage control, and continued care. We will also like to teach appropriate triaging and flow throughout the Emergency Department. Another focus will be on ultrasound training, as an ultrasound machine at the University Hospital in Antananarivo was just obtained for the first time.
Aside from education of current physicians, we will be setting up a clinic in rural Madagascar and providing hands on care, as well as, distributing medications and supplies.
I will be going with a group of Emergency medicine co-residents as well as board certified Emergency medicine doctors within my residency program at Kent Hospital, Rhode Island. We will be working close with another group of surgeons and resident surgeons out of the University of Pennsylvania. We will all be working together under the Non-government Organization “Mada Health” that was set up exclusively to help improved medical care and access in Madagascar.
Half of our time will be spent educating the current physicians working in the Emergency Departments there in Antananarivo, the capitol city. We plan to help them improve care and efficiency benefiting the patients, as well as, both the hospital and physicians caring for the patients. Our second objective will be a more direct impact on alleviating suffering in areas of the country without access to medical care.
Education is by far the best way to leave a lasting impact. Emergency Medicine is poorly represented in under developed countries, like Madagascar and through education we aim to improve this important part of the Malagasy health system. We hope that using our skills and knowledge we have acquired as Emergency medicine residents while accompanied with board certified physicians, we will create a lasting improvement on patient care. Also by visiting areas where medical care is inaccessible we will alleviate suffering and provide aid where needed most.
This is my first medical Mission to Madagascar and there are many people involved, but it is our hope to open up the ability for annual visits to continue with the goal of education and aid.
This was a very fulfilling trip. The medical care in Madagascar is extremely limited and many of the people we were able to help and give medicines/care too would have had no other way of affording or obtaining medical care.
We were able to introduce and do some very effective Ultrasound teaching to the residents and current Doctors at the main hospital in the capitol Antananarivo. These doctors who work in their largest emergency room had little to no training in Ultrasound, and they were amazed at the effectiveness of it. They are now searching to obtain an Ultrasound in their department.
We then proceeded with clinics seeing approximately 800 people over 4 days. We felt together with the teaching and hands on care that we were able to leave a lasting impact on the Malagasy people and left feeling fulfilled with hopes of doing yearly visits.