Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is prehospital emergency care in developing countries needed?
- Are ambulances or first responders the answer?
- What makes EFAR special?
- What does EFAR and the logo mean?
- Where are the pictures on your site from?
- I love academic literature! Do you have more information about EFAR that I'd enjoy?
- Can I get a more detailed description of your model?
- Why is prehospital emergency care in developing countries needed? Over 90% of traumatic deaths already occur in developing countries, mostly in the prehospital setting, making it the second leading cause of death amongst 15 to 44 year olds in these areas, and third for children 5 to 14. In addition, this is only expected to get worse as these countries develop, industrialize and urbanize--leading to higher rates of accidents, drug abuse and crime! Additionally, medical emergencies have been on the rise too, due to the poor sanitation, sedentary lifestyles and high-fat diets that unfortunately come with sudden urbanization. Furthermore, patients in low-resource areas commonly do not present to healthcare providers until a simple medical condition becomes an acute emergency. We recognize that Africa has a lot on its plate, and by no means claim that prehospital emergency care is a higher priority than any other need. However, emergency care is a kindling fire that is rapidly burning...and with low-cost, locally appropriate solutions such as EFAR, we are striving to make the right preparations before it's too late!
- Are ambulances or first responders the answer? Ambulances are part of the answer, but aren't the complete solution. This is because centralized ambulance systems are expensive, require many established moving parts before it can function, take a long time to expand and are limited by an area's infrastructure such as a lack of roads. Additionally, simple first responders aren't the complete solution either--though they are cheap and rapidly scalable, their responses and expansion are often uncoordinated and uncontrolled. One approach is to run ambulances and uncoordinated first responder models side by side, but this typically results in two parallel systems that don't meet in the middle. What's needed is a fully integrated approach, whereby low-cost responders provide emergency care in an organized way, and are coordinated with an ultimate mode of transportation as needed.
- What makes EFAR special? The concept of first responders has a long history (easy example is the Good Samaritan). What makes EFAR special is our dedication to creating prehospital emergency care systems that are LOCALLY APPROPRIATE, can be established WITHIN THE EXISTING MEANS OF AN AREA, and are meant to GROW ALONG WITH THE AREA AS IT DEVELOPS. In order to do all of these things, we endorse the heavy reliance on Community Advisers like none other. These key players are extremely familiar with their area's infrastructure, resources, people, habits and problems--and often the solutions too.
- What does EFAR and the logo mean? EFAR stands for Emergency First Aid Responder. The name was derived when we introduced the term First Responder to South African communities. There was confusion as to what people were first responding to...so they suggested adding the word emergency. Then there was confusion over the emergency first responders being of healthcare in nature, so locals suggested changing "first" to "first aid". EFAR though is a concept, and not a product--so we encourage the use of whichever term is most appropriate for your area. The logo is a standard EMS star of life, but with the star made of community members banding together--designed by one of our very own certified EFARs!
- Where are the pictures on your site from? The four banner pictures on this site were taken by us and are just some of the settings where EFAR has been explored. The homepage banner is of a bustling, growing city in Ghana. The ones at the top of the FAQ and About Us are from South African townships (semi-informal settlements) near Cape Town, and the banner on the Contact Us page is of a Fulani nomad encampment. We emphasize our understanding that not all developing areas are the same, and that each community has its own set of resources, customs and people, thus requiring its own tailored system!
- I love academic literature! Do you have more information about EFAR that I'd enjoy? Of course! Just for you: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), and featured here! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24033627 We also have multiple PhD / MSc / Honors theses from a wide array of fields written on EFAR-- let us know what you're interested in and we'll contact our scholars for you.
- Can I get a more detailed description of your model? Click here to check it out. For further details, contact us.
FINANCES AND ORGANIZATION
- Do you charge for your help in establishing new systems? NO. We're dedicated to establishing prehospital emergency care across the world, and don't want to distract funds from accomplishing that mission. We ask though that interested parties be prepared to supply or devise their own ways of funding their own systems, and to help cover any costs involved in establishing their system. In cases, we do invest our own seed money to incubate new systems until they can sustain themselves--but such funds are limited and hard to come by, and we want to avoid sustaining a system too much and creating a cycle of dependency. Additionally, many sites have developed innovative ways to fund their own systems, and we are happy to share those techniques to see if those are appropriate for your areas.
- Where is EFAR based? EFAR is a concept, rather than a product, and so it is based wherever it can be adopted. For general guidance and advocacy of EFAR system implementation and development though, within South Africa this is performed by the Western Cape EMS and the Academic Division of Emergency Medicine of Cape Town, and outside of South Africa this is performed by the African Federation for Emergency Medicine.
- Is EFAR copyrighted? We've put all of our stuff--the logo, the name, the training materials, the model, etc--up for Creative Commons! Any technology we develop will be open-sourced as well! We want to share everything we have freely, so long as it's being used appropriately and to help improve the lives of others.
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