Kyle Martin, DO
Kyle Martin, DO
Emergency Medicine · Warwick, RI

Trauma Training Sessions in Rwanda

February 8th
Kigali, Rwanda

Project Description

Our team plans to conduct trauma training sessions at hospitals in Butare and Ruhengeri, Rwanda, in February and June 2022. These sessions are at the request of staff at these facilities who see a large number of trauma patients. Trauma is a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and Rwanda is no exception.

Trauma sessions will take place over two days and will involve lectures as well as small group work and simulated patient scenarios. The population served will be staff who work in the Emergency Department at the hospitals or are otherwise involved in the care of trauma patients. This includes physicians, nurses and other ancillary staff.

The initial training session in February 2022 will cover a wide variety of topics related to trauma care with a focus on blunt trauma, given that road traffic injuries are a major cause of traumatic injury in Rwanda. The training sessions in June 2022 will include topics that are chosen by staff based on skills and knowledge that they wish to improve or learn.

A pre-/post-questionnaire will be provided to assess knowledge and attitudes following the initial trauma period. An additional questionnaire will be distributed in the beginning of May 2022 to determine topics to be included in the June training session.

Training sessions will be led by Emergency Medicine physicians from Brown University along with a team of Physician Assistants with extensive experience in emergency care.

This grant application is for travel in February 2022.

Population Served

The population served in this study are health care staff at two hospitals in Rwanda. These hospitals are located in the Butare (Southern Rwanda) and Ruhengeri (Northern Rwanda).

There is an Emergency Department at the hospital in Butare; however, only a few staff have received training in emergency care. There is an Emergency Medicine specialty training program for physicians in Kigali (the capital of Rwanda). Aside from this opportunity, education on emergency care is lacking. For this reason, staff in Butare and at a smaller hospital in Ruhengeri have requested additional training with a specific focus on trauma.

Our team expects to training 20-30 people at the two different sites as part of this project. Those trained will be on the front lines of providing trauma care. This training will help to improve their knowledge and skills in order to improve patient outcomes.

Expected Impact

The expected impact of this training is to improve the knowledge, attitude and practices of health care staff at hospitals in Butare and Ruhengeri, Rwanda. This will be measured using pre-/post-questionnaires. The longterm goal is to improve patient outcomes at these clinical sites. This can be examined via a trauma registry at these sites. The goal of this project is to continue longitudinal training sessions at the two hospitals with an aim of sustaining skills and knowledge. Brown University has a long history of working on projects related to Emergency Medicine in Rwanda. It should not be difficult to continue this project in the future.

Trip Photos & Recap

Trauma training sessions were conducted at Kibagabaga District Hospital and Kibuye District Hospital. There were a total of 17 participants in Kibagabaga and 15 participants in Kibuye, consisting primarily of physicians and nursing staff. Participants were provided with a two-day course that focused on blunt trauma, as road traffic accidents are the primary cause of trauma-related morbidity and mortality in Rwanda. The course included hands-on activities such as placing a chest tube and performing a FAST exam. Participants also engaged in several trauma-related simulation exercises. Participant knowledge increased by 32% following the training sessions (based by performance on a pre-test and post-test). Confidence in managing trauma patients increased as well. Longitudinal trauma trainings at both sites will continue in January/February 2023 and May/June 2023.

Of note, a one-day trauma training session also took place at University Teaching Hospital - Butare. This session consisted mainly of lectures with a primary audience that included medical students and nursing staff. There were 25 participants in this training course. Participant knowledge increased 15% following this session.