Rethinking emergency care communications in remote, rural Zambia: some innovative solutions

Part of Special Series: Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare – ‘Rethinking Remote’ Conference Abstracts 2016go to url


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J Vallis
1 *

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A Wales

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L Chifwaila

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C Mudenda

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V Kole


* J Vallis


1 NHS Education for Scotland, Medical Directorate, Edinburgh, UK

2 NHS Education for Scotland, Glasgow, UK

3 Chitambo School of Nursing, Chitambo, Zambia

4 Zambia Research and Developent Technology Academy, ZRDTA, Lusaka, Zambia

5 Chitambo Hospital, Chitambo, Zambia


30 June 2016 Volume 16 Issue 2


RECEIVED: 25 June 2016

ACCEPTED: 29 June 2016


Vallis J, Wales A, Chifwaila L, Mudenda C, Kole V.  Rethinking emergency care communications in remote, rural Zambia: some innovative solutions. Rural and Remote Health 2016; 16: 4119. https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH4119


© James Cook University 2016

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Scottish and Zambian health partners are collaborating on 'Strengthening emergency care communications in Chitambo District, central Zambia,' where lack of evidence-based information, and inadequate communication systems, cost lives. A Scottish Government Small Grant Award (£35,805 over 2 years, 2015-2017) is enabling:
Creation of an emergency hotline with a dedicated emergency number to enable healthcare staff and the public to summon help as needed.
Provision of a suite of knowledge resources (digital and print) to support emergency care decisions at the point of care.
Provision of a PC, tablet and smartphones and setting up an emergency care resource centre at Chitambo Hospital.
Training of local information/library staff in Knowledge Broker (KB) skills, to support healthcare staff to find, share and apply knowledge in frontline decisions.
So far we have:
Initiated an application for a single emergency number.
Provided a suite of knowledge resources.
Equipped the emergency care resource centre with PC, tablet and smartphones.
2 Knowledge Translation workshops with information and clinical staff
Ongoing online KB training/support via Webex
2 follow-up ICT workshops to facilitate project implementation
A baseline evaluation of staff and community membersŽ views/experience of local emergency services
Established Facebook and WhatsApp emergency support networks
Cross-boundary collaboration between NHS Scotland, Third Sector and international organisations is contributing to innovative mHealth solutions to emergency communications in remote, rural Zambia, and rich reciprocal learning to inform rethinking of similar challenges in remote, rural Scotland.

This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.

This PDF has been produced for your convenience. Always refer to the live site https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/4119 for the Version of Record.