Increasing the use of continuing professional development courses to strengthen trauma care in Ghana
Injury is a major cause of death and disability in Ghana. Strengthening care of the injured is essential to reduce this burden. Trauma continuing professional development (CPD) courses are an important component of strengthening trauma care. In many countries, including Ghana, their use needs to be more uniformly promoted. We propose lowcost strategies to increase the utilization of trauma CPD in Ghana, especially in district hospitals and higher need areas. These strategies include developing plans by regional health directorates and teaching hospitals for the regions for which they are responsible. Lists could be kept and monitored of which hospitals have doctors with which type of training. Those hospitals that need to have at least one doctor trained could be flagged for notice of upcoming courses in the area and especially encouraged to have the needed doctors attend. The targets should include at least one surgeon or one emergency physician at all regional or large district hospitals who have taken the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) (or locally-developed alternative) in the past 4 years, and each district hospital should have at least one doctor who has taken the Primary Trauma Care (PTC) or Trauma Evaluation and Management (TEAM) (or locally-
developed alternatives) in the past 4 years. Parallel measures would increase enrollment in the courses during training, such as promoting TEAM for all medical students and ATLS for all surgery residents. It is important to develop and utilize more “home grown” alternatives to increase the long-term sustainability of these efforts,
Keywords: trauma, injury, education, training, continuing professional development
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