Sunday, November 4, 2012
Paramedics in Northern Iraq
Here is an article about what civilian paramedics are facing while working contract work in Iraq. They face geographical hardships, working with limited kit and resupply but most importantly, the have to be continually aware of landmines.
Landmines are everywhere.
Landmines are indiscriminate weapons that mainly injure poor populations in the developing world. Pre-hospital treatment by contract paramedics and first responders has reduced mortality, but little is known about the social impact of
paramedic and first responder training in villages.
Landmines have been placed in many countries around the world. It is estimated that there are 110 million live mines distributed throughout at least 70 different countries
These mines kill and maim, especially poor and rural populations, and the
death rate in the pre-hospital phase is estimated at 30-40%.
In low- and middle-income countries, there is a skewed distribution of resources, with most doctors and hospital facilities located in major cities. Consequently, the rate of pre-hospital death from injury is highest in countries that have the least resources. To address this major healthcare disparity, we established a rural pre-hospital trauma-care system in northern Iraq in
The program was sponsored by the Norwegian government through a small non-governmental organization (NGO), the Tromsoe Mine Victim Resource Center (www.traumacare.no), and was established in co-operation with the local health authorities of northern Iraq. Since 1999 the program has been run from Sulemaniyah, by a local NGO called Trauma Care Foundation Iraq, but it is still
funded by the Norwegian government.
This trauma-care system trains paramedics in landmine injury through repeated training sessions over the course of 3 years. These paramedics then train a large network of laymen first responders in their adjacent villages.
The findings in this study indicate that the paramedic and first responder system has a wider impact on the lives of villagers than just being a source of emergency health care. This is partly due to the almost complete lack of services offered from the outside society, but also to the high degree of adaptability of the trauma system and its attention to the needs of the villagers.
more information about this study can be found on the Australian Rural and Remote Health website.
Posted by A. O'Kelly at 9:49 AM