Health sector preparedness for motor traffic emergencies:- a case study of selected health institutions in the Accra Metropolis

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Road traffic accidents are becoming rampant in the Accra metropolis. The after effect rests mainly on the health sector. According to Lt.Col. Dzansi, head of the Accidents and Emergency Unit of 37 Military Hospital, (personal communication 2005), about 70% of cases reported at the Unit are usually RTA related. The main objective is to assess the preparedness of the health sector to take care of these increasing incidences of RTAs within Accra Metropolis. The study was descriptive cross- sectional. It was carried out in the emergency unit of four selected health institutions in the Metropolis namely; Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ridge Hospital, Mamobi Polyclinic and 37 Military Hospital. A structured questionnaire and an interview schedule were used to elicit information from respondents. Observation was also carried out to support response. The questionnaire, containing eighteen questions, were given out to sixteen care providers in each facility, and thirty road accident victims interviewed in each facility. The researcher also observed the in inflow of RTAs into the selected facilities during the study period and how these were handled. A key finding is that personnel at the facilities are usually over stressed during RTAs emergencies; however, in many cases they are able to cope and maintain a cordial relationship with the victims and their relations. The study revealed that nurses’ lack specialized training when it comes to handling road accident emergencies. Even though, the facilities do not have adequate equipment for handling RTAs, they are able to improvise when necessary. Ambulance services, in particular, are inadequate. Findings revealed that all the facilities are prepared to handle RTAs emergencies; however, there are few things to put in place to make the facilities’ care delivery better. It is recommended that more nurses should be trained. Infrastructure should also be expanded at the emergency units to make handling of victims of RTAs effective
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of master of Science in Health Services Planning and Management