Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a rapidly growing epidemic throughout the developing world but often get less recognition and attention than other healthcare challenges. According to the WHO, they are the 8th leading cause of death in all age groups and the world’s leading killer of people aged 5-29. In addition to causing immense suffering for the victims, these events can also have profound and multigenerational impacts on families and communities. Fortunately, rapid access to first aid within the first “Golden Hour” after injury can reduce deaths and permanent disabilities, allowing victims to return to long, healthy, and productive lives.
In order to reduce road accident fatalities by providing much needed first-aid support, Trauma Link, a volunteer based emergency first-aid service system was established in Bangladesh in 2013. SpaandanB is partnering with Trauma Link to extend its service to wider population.
SpaandanB is partnering with TraumaLink to bring its service service to 40 km on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway from Kotbari Bus Stand, Cumilla to Carpara Bus Stand, Chauddagram Upazila. The project duration will be 12 months. The preliminary work required before starting the formal operations includes social mapping, group discussions at the community level, workshops for volunteer selection, emergency first aid training, identifying first aid box storage locations, establishing liaisons with local administrative bodies, and organizing launching events.
TraumaLink was founded as a social enterprise in 2013 as a low cost, self-sustaining model to provide free prehospital care for traffic injury victims in Bangladesh. We launched our service on 23 November 2014 and after completing the 18-month pilot phase in 2016, we established the TraumaLink Trust to begin our formal operations. The service utilizes a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC)-approved short code emergency hotline number (16465) and 24/7 call center with local volunteers trained in basic trauma first aid, provided with essential medical supplies, and dispatched by SMS messaging to rapidly provide free care at the crash scene. The training curriculum teaches simple but life-saving skills that can be learned and performed by people with any level of education and no prior medical background. Locally sourced first aid supplies are provided and maintained by TraumaLink, and stored in locations that can be accessed 24 hours a day.
A graphic user interface (GUI) was developed specifically for the call center and features interactive and searchable maps of our service areas that allow operators to quickly identify crash locations, even if callers are not familiar with the community. The GUI software automatically generates SMS messages dispatching nearby volunteers to the crash scene, leaving the operator free to call the Highway Police and Fire Service as needed. First aid supplies provided by TraumaLink are stored throughout the catchment area in locations that can be accessed 24 hours a day.
After patients are treated at the crash scene, operators make a rough assessment of the severity of injuries based on information from the first responders. Volunteers then use this information in taking patients to the nearest hospital that can provide an appropriate level of care for their injuries. Following completion of a crash response, operators follow up by phone with the responding volunteers and/or field staff to collect additional demographic and operational information related to the incident. These data are used for ongoing quality monitoring and evaluation, and are also provided to local officials to help advise policy decisions. Volunteer First Responders are supervised by paid full-time field staff, who provide local support and quality control as well as a vital link between the central office in Dhaka and the communities we serve.
SpaandanB is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All U.S. donations are tax deductible and qualifies for company matching in most cases.