Violence and Injury Prevention

WHO hosts meeting on developing pre-hospital care systems in developing countries

On 6-7 December, WHO hosted a meeting of 28 experts from 15 countries on improving the development of pre-hospital care systems in low- and middle-income countries. The consultation, funded by the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, focused on the final draft of guidelines on the topic. It was an opportunity to gather the experts involved in the development of these guidelines and the complementary Guidelines for essential trauma care released earlier this year. Participants included experts from the rescue sector and staff from across WHO working with emergency systems, including injuries, violence, surgery and obstetrics. The group reviewed successful models of pre-hospital care systems from around the world and identified strategies for the development of such systems in countries where they are weak or non existent. The document for the development of pre-hospital care systems will be completed in early 2005, and a follow-up meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place in June 2005 to determine how the guidelines can be implemented in countries, including Ghana, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Poland and Vietnam.