Clinics short of trauma care for car accidents

18 Mar 2016 12:10pm
OSHAKATI, 18 MAR (NAMPA) – Manager of the Ongwediva Service Centre of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund, Eva Amakali says there has been an upward trend in the number of injuries resulting from road crashes in Namibia.
Amakali made these remarks at a one-day road accident case management workshop held at Oshakati in the Oshana Region on Thursday.
“The recent increase in carnage on our roads is a matter that needs greater intervention as everyday, we are faced with the loss of our loved ones, economic drivers of our country and our leaders.”
She pointed out this year alone, from 01 January to the 14th March, statistics collated by the MVA Fund Call Centre indicated 1 173 people were injured while 113 lost their lives in 694 crashes.
She said Namibia has an average of 6 281 persons injured in road crashes per annum.
“These alarmingly high numbers are indicative of the amount of resources required in managing trauma due to car crashes and inadvertently shows the importance of case management.”
Long distances between towns in Namibia and the shortage of clinics’ capability to handle road accident trauma were identified as some of the shortcomings in effective case management.
Therefore, workshop participants felt more resources need to be made available for road accident case management and the training of frontline doctors and nurses in the country.
“If you don’t manage the patient (with road accident penetrating trauma/injuries) within the first hour of the accident, the result will be poor,” said Dr Akutu Munyika, head of surgery at the Onandjokwe Hospital in the Oshikoto Region, while giving a presentation on management of surgical cases.
Munyika highlighted neurosurgery, orthopaedic and specialised surgery as key-determining factors of emergency and trauma care.
The MVA Fund used the workshop to engage with relevant stakeholders such as general surgeons, paramedics and nurses on issues pertinent in the management of trauma due to motor vehicle accidents.
The meeting also served as platform for such stakeholders to learn from each other, share best practices and strengthening relationships.