Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF) on Thursday officially launched Nigeria’s first Trauma Care Emergency Response APP (TCERA) application suite in Lagos, thus, adopting innovative technology in interventionist medical response for accident victims.
This is even as the Global Non-profit organization has trained and equipped over 3000 First Responders in its TCIF First Responders Network in Lagos.
The Chairperson of the TCIF, Dr. Deola Phillips, in her welcome remarks, acknowledged the immense commitment of the Patron of Trauma Care International Foundation, Rev Chris Oyakhilome, in sustaining and building the capacity of TCIF in carrying out its interventionist goals.
Dr. Deola Phillips, represented by Dr. Emeka Eze, noted that the scheme scheduled for launch is anticipated to make a difference in Nigeria and Africa.
She explained that the TCERA APP Suite, an innovation of the Trauma Care International Foundation, is an Emergency Response Application suite comprising of the TCERA Responder and User apps.
Dr. Phillips also acknowledged key stakeholders in trauma care and emergency response, who include the Commissioner for Health Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi; the Permanent Secretary, ministry of Health, Lagos State, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye; Director of LASAMBUS, Dr. Kola Korolo, amongst others, who were present or represented at the launch.
The TCIF Chairperson emphasised that the innovations were designed to usher in advancements in pre-hospital care in Nigeria; noting the presence of veterans and specialists who like the personnel in TCIF, have committed themselves to ensuring improved outcomes of traumatic emergencies in the communities.
Dr. Phillips highlighted the inspiration of TCIF to improve trauma care in the society.
According to the Chairperson: “Trauma is still the leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 1 and 44 years, and it is the third most common cause of death regardless of age.
“Motor vehicular crashes, in addition to other forms of trauma, have become a major health problem throughout the world and, especially, in Nigeria, with over 4 million injuries being recorded due to trauma, and more than 200,000 deaths attributed to road crashes alone.”
Dr. Phillips also highlighted the role of Trauma Care International Foundation in
addressing the issue of trauma and emergency response.
She said that as a non-governmental organization, TCIF has pioneered and championed many innovative solutions, all of which are aimed at improving
trauma care and emergency response in Nigeria and in other member nations.
She said that since inception, the foundation has been actively engaged in executing mass health and safety education and advocacy campaigns, hosting of
voluntary blood donation initiatives in partnership with relevant government agencies, adding that the Foundation presently has hospital endowment and MEDICAID programs running in Lagos and Adamawa states.
“In addition to these laudable achievements, in December 2019, TCIF organized the first ever Trauma Conference in Nigeria which brought
together relevant key international, national, and state stakeholders in health, trauma and emergency care to discuss key strategies and platforms for improving trauma management in the nation,” Dr. Phillips disclosed.
The TCIF chair also highlighted the objectives of the TCERA APP launch.
She noted that the Foundation recognises the Lagos State government’s efforts in the
provision of adequate pre-hospital care for trauma and emergency victims. She said that to further aid and support the ongoing laudable interventionist work in the health sector, the Foundation has been training volunteers in first aid skills and has formed a network of volunteers trained in first aid and basic emergency response called the TCIF First Responder Network.
“Furthermore, leveraging on technology, TCIF designed and developed the Trauma Care Emergency Response Application suites (TCERA
apps) which we are launching today.
“This network is made up of volunteers from all walks of life. They are willing citizens trained to provide first aid to those that need it.
“These two initiatives underscore TCIF’s commitment to improving emergency response and we have been actively engaged in expanding
the available pool of skilled first responders to improve outcomes of traumatic injuries in communities by recruiting, training and equipping volunteers, and also by strengthening collaborations with existing emergency response agencies,” Dr. Philips declared.
She disclosed that some of the strategic partners for the project include the Lagos State Ambulance Service, the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Nigerian Boy Scouts organization, Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, and others.
Dr. Philips expressed the hope that the deployment and the use of these applications within the Lagos Metropolis by its residents will not only help to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with injuries, but their use will complement and lend support to the impact of the existing emergency response framework being commendably financed and managed by the Lagos State Government.
“We look forward to opportunities to collaborate with the existing trauma management structures both at state and local government
levels, and to scale up the deployment of the application across the nation,” she said.
The chairperson further said that numerous opportunities exist for relevant stakeholders and corporate organizations to collaborate with Trauma Care International Foundation in delivering the sustainable solutions towards contributing immensely to improving on the pre-hospital care available in Nigeria.
The Trauma Care Emergency Response APP (TCERA) has six steps to usage. The first stage is to download the APP from google Play; step two is sign up, then receive a passport; step three is to log in; step four, edit profile, step five, click on SOS button, and step six, provide details of the emergency.
Representative of the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Adeolu Arogundade, at the interactive session, enumerated the activities of the Lagos State government in trauma management in the state over the years, pointing out the challenges and the importance of collaboration between public and private actors. He emphasised the need to get to the nearest care provider or where victims can get help within minimal time of the accident.
Dr. Arogundade highlighted two critical processes in trauma care management which he identified as timely intervention and the process of handling victims. The latter has to do with managing physical pains a victim goes through at an accident scene and which part of the body should be touched or not by the rescue personnel.
Dr. Arogundade disclosed that the health department in Lagos created google map where victims can get help to locate hospitals in the state. The google map once logged into, he said, indicated hospital location. He added that it also provides information identifying location of incidents of accidents.
Dr. Arogundade admitted that in galvanising access to care, the TCERA will add value to existing facilities provided by the Lagos State government.
Dr. Arogundade disclosed that Lagos State has 27 general hospitals and tertiary health institutions while the federal government maintains LUTH. He disclosed that the state health ministry received over 3,000 emergency calls, adding that the ministry was receiving an average of five calls daily on how people can get to the hospital.
Dr. Arogundade also revealed that the state government set up calls, and ambulance service for emergency care. He expressed that the call and ambulance service will step up operations with the TCERA APP. According to him, “TCERA APP will provide the technology for easy communication. There are 28 government facilities and over 2,000 registered facilities.
“The APP will make it faster to identify locations; identify the FRSC, whose second office is on the road; identify the Police, LASTMA, NURTW, and others; also identify centres for interventions.”
He reiterated that Lagos State government has 27 general hospitals, observing that, however, the population of Lagos continues to grow. “Definitely, we need cooperation and the private sector to save our people,” Arogundade declared.
He observed that the vulnerable people in road accidents are those on official duties who stand at the roadside.
Dr. Arogundade talked of the golden hour for intervention. “If they do not get support, they die on the spot. Some stay for a few hours; if nothing is done; or if the right thing is not done, they die.
“The first hours of rescue are crucial; and appropriate things have to be done to save the life of a victim,” he declared.
The Director of LASAMBUS, Dr. Korolo, acknowledged that communication is key to medicare services. He stated that it is a novel innovation necessary to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adding that it was one of the measures put in place by Lagos State government for addressing MDGs. One of the measures, he said, was capacity building, adding that the government grown ambulance capacity from five to 25, stating that the state intends to provide one ambulance for each local council. This, he said, will enable the caregivers get closer to the grassroots for proper care. He observed that trauma does not give any notice. “The closer we get to the service to the grassroots, the better it is to deliver proper service, proper care.
“We will look at some of our processes, especially, with documentation, and we will need to adopt the APP,” he declared.
The LASAMBUS Director affirmed that technology is in the front burner of service delivery, noting that LASAMBUS is working on some innovations.
Dr. Korolo stated: “communication is key in interventionist care services, there is need for governmental and non-governmental synergy. “We have gone past where we started, we reach out to the grassroots population. Lagos will adopt the TCERA APP at call centres.” He disclosed that LASAMBUS has partnership with an organisation in Texas, the US, and another in Canada.
The representative of the FRSC Sector Commander in Lagos State, Mrs. Fekoya, said that the FRSC has mandate to prevent crash on the roads. She said that the Corps need to educate and enlighten people on safety measures on the highways. She pointed out that 95% of auto-crash on highways are caused by human errors.
She stated that the FRSC rely on technology to get information on occurrences on highways.
Mrs. Fekoya revealed that FRSC is connected to all Commands in the country, adding that the Corps has 12 Commands in Lagos State.
She said that they have connectivity with hospitals and other necessary intervention agencies when accident occurs. She noted that in most cases, gridlocks hinder rescue operations, saying that the command connects another command to intervene, explaining the traffic constraints from the end.
She added that FRSC also has GPS with which the Corps reaches out a Command for interventions, monitor the movement of the vehicle from the headquarters and ensure the victims are rescued and safe. She said that the Command must get to the rescue scene within 10 minutes of notification.
Mrs. Fekoya stated that communication is key in data analysis, noting that security is also key in interventions. She said the FRSC uses technology to multiply the impact of interventions, educate people to prevent accident.
She highlighted that FRSC has first information report, relying on technology to identify locations. She added that they also have public source information, where people at the scene of accident post on the social media. The Corps download it and act. She added that rescue personnel require patience in evacuation of accident victims.
Mrs. Fekoya advocated that people should comply with accident prevention measures and save resources devoted to medicals, so that such resources can be utilised in other areas of development.
Spotlight on TCIF
The Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF) is a non-governmental organisation and a member agency of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International. TCIF has through the years consistently focused on improving trauma management and emergency response services in Nigeria.
TCIF has achieved this through its numerous initiatives which promote enhanced pre-hospital care and first responder education, its voluntary blood donation programs, and community-based health projects.
The foundation recognises the Lagos State government’s efforts in the provision of adequate pre-hospital care for trauma and emergency victims, and the need to further aid and support this ongoing laudable work in the health sector.
The Senior Executive officer of Trauma Care International Foundation, Dr. Olajumoke Akisanya, disclosed that the Foundation has been training volunteers in first aid skills and has formed a network of volunteers trained in first aid and basic emergency response called the TCIF First Responder Network.
She said the foundation trains volunteers who include market women, vulcanizers, CDAs, petrol attendants, estates residents, etc, who stay closer to scenes of accidents.
At the launch of the Trauma Care Emergency Response Application suite (A.K.A TCERA) on Thursday, which comprises of the Responder and the User applications developed to connect victims of emergencies to TCIF Volunteer first responders, the TCIF inducted some of her trained Volunteer First responders who have been recruited, trained, equipped, and registered with the TCIF First Responder Network. “The network is made up of volunteers from all walks of life. They are willing citizens trained to provide first aid to those that need it,” the Senior Executive Officer said.
The senior Executive officer of Trauma Care International Foundation, Dr Olajumoke Akisanya, identified some of TCIF’s strategic partners for the project to include the Lagos State Ambulance Service, the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Nigerian Boy Scouts Organization, Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, and others.
The Chairperson of the Trauma Care International Foundation; Dr. Deola Phillips, identified the launch of the apps as another significant contribution to nation-building. She thanked the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) for their dependable support. She expressed the hope that the deployment and use of these applications within the Lagos Metropolis by its residents will not only help to reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with injuries but will complement and lend support to the impact of the existing emergency response framework within Lagos State and the nation. The innovation was acknowledged to be changing the game of trauma care services, eliminating the constraints imposed by distances and traffic during emergency interventions.
www.tcerapp.org was provided for further information.
Dr. Jumoke Akisanya, delivering the vote of thanks, stated that the laudable and innovative technological solution will save the lives of many in the nation, starting from Lagos, adding that it is part of Trauma Care International Foundation’s strategic contribution to improved pre-hospital emergency care in Nigeria. She pointed out that studies have shown that delays in reaching trauma victims can increase their risk of permanent disability and death.
“It is our goal to work closely with the government, strategic communities and corporate organisations to significantly reduce the emergency response time in our communities while championing volunteerism in pre-Hospital care through the TCIF First Responder network and the usage of the TCERA applications,” she declared.
She expressed the Foundation’s anticipation for a productive partnership.