WeBelieve Health, a non-profit organization, in partnership with the Society of Emergency Medicine Practitioners of Nigeria (SEMPON) held a half-day symposium at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos to introduce World Health Organization (WHO) tools for the practice of emergency medicine in resource-constrained settings in Nigeria. The inaugural event themed “Emergency Medicine in Nigeria- Where are We Now” was hosted by a team of international medical professionals and relevant stakeholders.
It highlighted possible ways to provide and improve existing health care delivery techniques in Nigeria, particularly in emergency situations. In attendance was Dr Michelle Niescierenko, the Director of global health at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School; Dr Sean Kivlehan, the International Emergency Med Fellowship Director at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and faculty of Harvard Medical School; and Dr Babatunde Akodu, the head of the family medicine department at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos. The Permanent Secretary of the Lagos Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, was also on the ground and provided updates on the implementation of Lagos State Ambulance Service.
WeBelieve Health, through the symposium, explored the history and achievements within the healthcare sector thus far with emergency response and provided physicians and nurses with up to date information on the standards for the practice of emergency care. The event also explored qualitative descriptions of barriers and facilitators to optimal care for emergency patients via a series of focus group discussions.
According to the founder of WeBelieve Health, and emergency Physician at Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, Dr Ayobami Olufadeji, “It has become increasingly important in Nigeria that we are equipped with tools, resources and information that will enable us to act effectively during health emergencies. We are thrilled to pioneer this timely medical symposium that will enable stakeholders to be more proactive when faced with medical emergencies. WeBelieve Health is committed to promoting the advancement of healthcare delivery in Nigeria, as our organization continues to think through innovative ways to work through the challenges that Nigerians face with accessing medical care”.
Speaking at the event, Head of Trauma at the National Hospital Abuja, Dr Oyediaka Okoye, discussed some of the innovative approaches they have employed to ensure that the emergency department has trauma surgery coverage at all times. Dr Ola Brown, Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria also emphasized the importance of ensuring that all physicians become stronger advocates of improving emergency care and the health care system as a whole.
Since its incorporation, WeBelieve Health has supported a number of healthcare projects including building sick bays and sponsoring programs at different schools for children. WeBelieve has also participated in other research projects to obtain public perceptions of the state of healthcare delivery in Nigeria. The half-day symposium was an opportunity for WeBelieve Health to engage emergency medicine providers on how to develop connections for research opportunities and career advancement within and outside Nigeria.