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Nepal: enhancing doctors' trauma management skills

09-05-2011 News Release 11/110

Kathmandu (ICRC) – A four-day emergency-room trauma course jointly organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Dhulikhel Hospital of Kathmandu University will begin today in Pokhara.

"Given the large number of traffic accidents and the high risk of an earthquake, it is important to recognize that treatment based on a correct initial assessment can save many lives," said Dr Rajendra Koju, administrative director of Dhulikhel Hospital. "With this seminar, we hope to enhance the expertise of Nepali doctors and boost the first phase of emergency care with the aim of reducing the incidence of death and disability in patients."

In Nepal, road traffic accidents cause an estimated 80 per cent of injuries among people aged 15 to 40 years. Proper management of injuries caused by severe trauma can reduce disability as well as the number of people succumbing to such injuries. Expertise in trauma management can also save lives in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake, when health-care professionals may have to cope with a large influx of patients.

The course will be given by specialist ICRC surgeons Dr Alberto Nardini and Dr Enzo Chemello, and attended by some 20 doctors working in the emergency departments of hospitals in 19 districts, mainly in the western part of the country.

"By enhancing and complementing the skill of local doctors in managing emergency trauma cases, we expect to reduce the incidence of trauma-related morbidity, mortality and disability among injured people seeking hospital emergency-room treatment," said Patrick Vial, head of the ICRC delegation in Nepal. "In addition, the course will enhance the ability of the participants to coach other hospital staff in proper injury-management techniques."

Since 2001, the ICRC has been providing training and support for medical personnel in Nepal treating people wounded in connection with the conflict and other violence. The emergency-room trauma course complements training courses in casualty management that were given by ICRC surgeons when the armed conflict in Nepal was still under way.

For further information, please contact:
Robin Waudo, ICRC Kathmandu, tel: +977 1 4107285 or +977 98510 343638
Monica Upadhyay, ICRC Kathmandu, tel: +977 1 4107285 or +977 9751007585