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.