The Global Health Innovation Laboratory's Initiative for Emergency Care (IEC) in rural Uganda aims to create a model for emergency care for district hospitals in Uganda. Given the high number of preventable deaths, the need for emergency services in rural Uganda is pressing, yet few resources are available to meet this need. In response, in June 2008, Karoli Lwanga (Nyakibale) Hospital opened the first Emergency Department (ED) in the country after a needs assessment and fundraising lead by the Global Emergency Care Collaborative (GECC). Since that time, the ED has cared for almost 10,000 patients.
To strengthen emergency care in the Rukungiri district, where Nyakibale Hospital is located, the IEC has launched a series of innovative health programs that aim to improve the availability and quality of emergency services in the Rukungiri district, while also creating a sustainable solution to address the lack of qualified health workers in the area.
The IEC has several programs that work in tandem at Nyakibale Hospital, and it has collaborated with GECC on a number of these programs. For example, together with GECC, the IEC has commenced a training program for local Ugandan nurses, with the goal of creating emergency nurse practitioners at the hospital. These nurses are being taught a full spectrum of acute care skills, and the expectation is that these emergency nurse practitioners will fill a major gap in emergency service provision in the district.
Furthermore, the IEC, in conjunction with the Harvard College Global Hunger Initiative, has launched a program designed to treat and prevent malnutrition in the Rukungiri district. Through evidence-based training workshops, the Initiative to End Child Malnutrition is poised to significantly reduce the number of malnourished children in the district.
Finally, the IEC is providing training in the use of ultrasound to local health workers, with the goal of improving diagnostic capabilities in the district and increasing the number of health workers who can use this ultrasound technology to inform clinical management.