Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 July 2019:
Road accidents in Sierra Leone are taking the lives of thousands of people every year, because of the lack of an organised and well-resourced rapid emergency medical response.
But this is about to change, with the formation of the ‘First Responder Coalition of Sierra Leone’ (FRCSL).
In Makeni, northern Sierra Leone, five national and international organizations have come together to form the First Responder Coalition of Sierra Leone (FRCSL).
Pioneered by LFR International, an American international NGO, the Coalition is training thousands of first responders, who will treat casualties of accidents across Sierra Leone.
The five founding members of the FRCSL include the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, LFR International, Agency for Rural Community Transformation (ARCT), the Holy Spirit Hospital of Makeni, and the University of Makeni.
The First Responder Coalition of Sierra Leone is committed to developing and scaling up ambulatory emergency medical services across Sierra Leone.
With the recent declaration by the 72nd World Health Assembly, that emergency medical services are an international development and health priority, formation of the First Responder Coalition of Sierra Leone is timely.
It will provide emergency health care; address and treat the high rates of injury, and address the low rates of pre-hospital emergency care available in Sierra Leone.
The Coalition is chaired by the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, with two representatives from each member organization responsible for planning interventions and programs.
The Coalition’s first intervention took place two months ago. Coalition members have trained 1,000 community members in Makeni and equipped each trainee with a first aid kit.
Over the next six months, the Coalition will train and equip an additional 3,500 first responders to create a large first responder system, covering all of Bombali.
Starting in Makeni in Bombali District, over the next five years the Coalition will expand outside of the northern province, supporting the development of emergency response across Sierra Leone.
Thousands of people injured in road accidents across the country will soon receive first aid care from first responders, saving thousands of lives.
LFR International, a founding member who proposed the coalition, is funding the first phases of the Coalition’s development and training of the 4,500 people in Bombali District.
Other members of the Coalition have offered resources to aid progression toward the Coalition’s objective. In future years, the Coalition expects to receive government funding in support of the Coalition’s expansion plans, as well as international support from the UN, World Bank, and World Health Organization.
Great initiative, but long overdue. We should have had medical response teams all over Sierra Leone from past governments to deal with accidents be it road, sea, public gatherings, etc. Simple First Aid response to victims would save lives. I am therefore initiating that this current government, especially the Ministries of Education and Health, to introduce First Aid to schools and even higher educations. First Aid should be everyone’s concern.
What a heartbreaking thing to hear, Mr Thomas. I felt deeply saddened just hearing that five people died on the spot, without being able to receive any kind of emergency medical assistance that could have saved their precious lives. There is a lot to be done, yet we remain complacent and uninterested.
This has to change – my sincerest condolences to your family, and all the others who lost their loved ones..Now the only thing left to do is to pray for them, so that the Almighty will have mercy on their souls and grant them Eternal Peace. And remember, they may have departed from us, but no human soul is ever declared lost from God…Blessings!
Thank you Mr Conteh. God bless.
This is a very great initiative. Thanks to the innovators and all the current and future contributors to this mighty program.
I really do hope this innovative programme succeeds, and go on to obtain the required level of funding so it can be rolled out across the country; so at to prevent the needless deaths of thousands of people plying our roads in Sierra Leone.
I sadly lost my 28 year old nephew in a road accident at Okro Hill a few years ago. He was driving a car with four of his friends as passengers, when a lorry crashed into their vehicle.
All five died on the spot without any emergency responder being present to assist at the scene. This must change, and I hope the government of Sierra Leone and international funders will take this initiative very seriously as a national emergency and put money behind it, to make it work effectively for the good of the whole country. Good luck.
Great, great! This will help in saving lives, especially if it is reaching people in the rural areas. Great job LFR international and all the partners.
This is very good for our country; and thank God, because I am one of the (TOT) train of trainers.