Sri Lanka EMS
Our work improving Emergency Medical Services in Sri Lanka
Medical Teams International is working with its partners to establish a sustainable national prehospital care system and strengthen the trauma system. Established in 2005, the program has trained more than 100,000 personnel, stocked more than 100 ambulances with medical equipment and launched massive public education campaigns.
Our work addresses key system-building components that include public education, access to care, medical supplies, system protocols, national guidelines and regulations, and education. Already, 3 million Sri Lankans have access to 24-hour free and professional pre-hospital care because of the work of our staff, volunteers and partners.
Medical Teams International has been a key partner of the Government of Sri Lanka by providing training, developing a standardized national curriculum, developing education materials and creating a nationwide certification registry for emergency technicians.
To complement the trained pre-hospital workforce, Medical Teams International has conducted community education and awareness campaigns in basic First Aid and the use of pre-hospital emergency services. First Aid education focused on airway management, fracture management, bleeding control and how to access emergency assistance. Medical Teams International also worked with five district hospitals that receive ambulatory care patients to provide a seamless transition between pre-hospital and hospital care. Medical Teams International utilizes a strategy of increasing public knowledge, developing technical skills and reinforcing existing medical systems to build efficient emergency medical services.
The 24-hour pre-hospital system has been functioning in Jaffna since February, 2009. It is operating under a trained workforce of 556 emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, and managers. Additionally, this system is supplemented by 7,200 hospital staff members trained in trauma management.
Excluding the inaugural month, the pre-hospital emergency system responded to an average of 208 cases every month and served 3,000 patients. More than 95% of all responses were initiated by the 1-1-0 call center indicating that EMS is a necessary service and that the community knows how to use it. The Regional Director of Health Services has pointed out that 3rd grade students are being quizzed in the classroom on how to properly contact an ambulance.
Additional successes include:
- Improvement of technical skills development by training 666 EMT's, EMS dispatchers and EMS managers.
- Increase public awareness by holding 90 community education sessions and educating 51,000 people on basic First Aid through peer training.
- Reinforcement of existing medical systems by training 455 hospital personnel in primary or advanced trauma care.
During a three-year partnership with the Sri Lankan government, Medical Teams International is developing the national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in Sri Lanka. A comprehensive system development approach is being used that includes simultaneous development of textbooks and training materials, communications systems, operational protocols and public awareness campaigns. Read more about this and see the videos on the National Emergency Medical Services System in Sri Lanka.