The Center for Disaster Medicine and Traumatology

National Research Center for Traumatology assigned by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare

Trauma Epidemiology and Training in Rwanda

Mass-trauma events can put a strain on any healthcare system. In low- and middle-income countries, the surgical workforce and the available resources are limited, and surges in trauma cases can pose a great challenge to a system that is already pushed to its limits. In Rwanda, mass-trauma appears to occur through two main mechanisms: motor vehicle collisions and natural disasters, primarily landslides. As climate change is accelerating, Rwanda is likely to see a continued rise and intensity of landslides and mass-trauma events.

The project is a collaboration between Linköping University (Andreas Wladis, Laura Pompermaier, Lotta Velin), Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School (Robert Riviello), the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (Jean-Claude Byiringiro, Menelas Nkeshimana, Faustin Ntirenganya) and Rwanda’s prehospital services – SAMU (Jean-Marie Uwitonze).

As the first step in this project, we aim to understand the epidemiology of mass-trauma in Rwanda by developing a novel research methodology, which can be conducted in the absence of a trauma registry or systematic data collection. Following this, we will do self-assessments of the current trauma surge capacity through interviews with trauma care providers in Rwanda. Finally, we will evaluate if and how this capacity can be strengthened using the Emergo Train System, a trauma simulation tool developed at KMC.

Contact: Lotta Velin