Emergency health education in a conflict stricken environment: A situational analysis

Ivy Muya, Joanne Garside, Marco Van-der Plas, Mohammed Ali Mohammed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Bosasso General Hospital is located in Puntland Somalia, an area affected by prolonged civil conflict, terrorism, clan fighting and piracy. International evidence highlights that staff skills and competence may have a significant impact on patient outcomes however there has been little research on emergency education in such an austere and volatile environment. The purpose of this study therefore was to identify current practices and gaps in delivering emergency medicine education in this resource-deprived environment. Methods: A mixed methods approach was adopted to inform convergent parallel data collection techniques including questionnaire (n = 16), key informant (n = 5) and focus group interviews (n = 16). Data analysis, following data triangulation, produced descriptive quantitative statistics of themes such as emergency care, educational provision, enablers and barriers. Results: The research showed that among health care staff at the hospital, 19% of the nurses felt that visiting nurses offer some knowledge on emergency care, while 38% of knowledge was gained from visiting doctors. Regarding knowledge of emergency medicine, 88.9% of the nurses felt that emergency medicine is basically first aid. Discussion: Emergency care was perceived by the majority as essentially ‘first aid’. Many indicated that they received little or no regular or formal training on emergency care and related essential topics. In terms of challenges faced in delivering emergency care education demonstrated a common factor in the limited resources available which included lack of teaching materials, reading materials, online resources, health care professionals, equipment and mentors. Conclusions drawn suggest that the knowledge of emergency medicine by front line professionals is limited. Therefore, the development of field curricula, practical and theoretical training by visiting practitioners, provision of additional teaching aids, tools and equipment, integration of multiple disciplines in training and financial resource mobilisation would be beneficial in improving knowledge, attitudes and practices of emergency care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalAfrican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date21 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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