Project Sachibondu is GEM's flagship rural project, endeavouring to provide sustainable development of emergency medical care in remote environments where physicians support is not available.
Sachibondu is a small health clinic in a remote region of North West Zambia, close to the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. The clinic has a robust management structure that makes it a highly attractive facility for over a thousand patients annually to travel up to 300km to access health care.
With the current health clinic becoming overwhelmed by increasing patient numbers and the buildings unfit for purpose, an innovative humanitarian architectural organization Orkidstudio was enlisted by Sachibondu managers to redesign a new facility. Orkidstudio in turn approached GEM to be medical advisors for the architectural design, an opportunity we could not turn down.
GEM believes that hospital buildings should be tailored to patient flow systems to enable emergency care systems to work. However if health care workers lack adequate skills to instigate appropriate emergency triage, assessment and treatment of critically unwell patients, no building or innovative design will ever truly improve clinical care. And so Project Sachibondu was born.
The new hospital design is currently under construction and will be completed in Autumn 2017. Given the magnitude of this extensive facility upgrade, GEM recognized the need to assess the educational need of current and future staff on the ground.
So, after invitation from the Sachibondu managers, the GEM team travelled to Zambia to perform baseline data collection and an assessment of the current systems in place in May 2016.
As a result of the baseline visit a number of areas of educational need were identified that will require significant educational input. We found that the staff on site were highly engaged in the project and have aspirations to optimize patient care through improving their clinical knowledge.
For details of our baseline visit please contact us
The most urgent educational need we identified is improving the recognition and management of acutely unwell patients. We believe by targeting triage, assessment and resuscitation of patients (neonates, children and adults) this will provide a building block for future work, whilst also improving the quality of clinical care and safeguarding emergency patient management.
We have chosen to focus on 6 key areas in the initial phase of this project:
- Triage, assessment and emergency treatment of acute conditions
- Recognition of the deteriorating patient
- Basic nursing skills
- Hand washing and hygiene
- Waste management
- Quality improvement and audit
Whilst the hospital building work continues, GEM staff are in the process of developing educational packages based on WHO, ETAT and Global Health Network tools. These packages will be delivered by GEM and Emergency Department nursing staff in visits to the site over the next 2 years, with long term remote support provided by staff in Scotland.
Whilst improving clinical and educational objectives, GEM staff will provide education in audit, research and quality improvement to enable local staff to question their clinical practice, and in turn sustainably develop their emergency care.
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