Fostering Trauma and Emergency Research Capacity in Rwanda Through Collaboration

Jul 28, 2020; Science Direct .


Access to effective emergent care would prevent 45% of all deaths in LMICs, however, trauma and emergency care remain largely neglected. Our collaboration in Rwanda to build prehospital trauma care led us to create a research mentorship program to enhance the ability of the local team to evaluate their system.

NIH grant funding had been previously obtained to establish standards for prehospital trauma care in Rwanda and build local research capacity. We created a research mentorship program that involved a surgical resident embedded locally tasked with 1) giving lectures on research, study design, interpretation, and writing, 2) providing mentorship for data interpretation and 3) supporting the development of abstracts, presentations, and publications.

Four research teams identified high priority areas for quality improvement research. Research group meetings were held and involved mentored literature searches, critical review of published works, basics of study design, abstract writing and manuscript development. Abstracts were submitted and accepted to three international conferences. At this time 3 manuscripts have been accepted and are in production, 2 abstracts and 1 manuscript has been published. Eleven staff enrolled in master's degree programs in critical and nursing, epidemiology, public health and global health equity across three institutions.

Responsive health care systems need capacity for ongoing quality improvement and research. This is especially true to address the massive global burden of disease of trauma and emergency conditions. US academic surgical collaborations have tremendous research expertise that can contribute to improving health system capacity globally. Such collaborations offer the opportunity to set up the foundations of future academic productivity.

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