Series: “Interview with the Author…”
The badEM crew interviewed Greg Bell regarding his newly released article in AfJEM Volume 6 Issue 3 entitled: “A pilot training program for point-of-care ultrasound in Kenya” by Greg Bell, Benjamin Wachira, Gerene Denning
Link to open access article: Click here
Corresponding author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in this field/this research?
During my trip to Kenya in 2006 I worked at a small hospital that had a really old ultrasound machine. I remember thinking how newer machines are so much smaller & better, & how great they would be in remote low-resource hospitals like that one. After my time in Kenya, & maybe because of it, I became more adept at point-of-care ultrasound. With time & practice I discovered how liberating it is to have the diagnostic edge at the bedside that it provides. With time my role in teaching ultrasound at University of Iowa grew. The idea of using point-of-care ultrasound in Kenya came back to me at a time that was right for action. I had the chance to work with Trish Henwood on a P.U.R.E. Initiative ultrasound training project in Rwanda. Soon after that I had a chance meeting with Ben Wachira who was just starting this project in Kenya. It has been a fantastic opportunity to partner with others who have the same mission of improving healthcare in smaller hospitals & for such dedicated & passionate providers. Check out P.U.R.E. on twitter here: @PURE_Updates
2. What were the key findings from this study?
Our goal was to design a course that made full use of limited time together to practice hands-on scanning in small groups. We hoped that their skill & accuracy were sufficient to utilize the machines they were provided for their own institution, even at the conclusion of the first session. The manual they were provided was focused to a couple of applications we felt realistic & practical – trauma & obstetrics. We included imbedded videos in that manual in order to demonstrate important concepts. We tested the participants for knowledge & skill. We found that most passed in both by the conclusion of the initial session, & that both scores increased during subsequent sessions, especially after admission to the course was dependent on passing a rigid examination of the material. The course design is to take into account the difficulties these clinicians face – limited time away from their posts, limited funds for continuing education, & poor access to the internet.
3. What do these findings mean within the African context?
I think the point-of-care ultrasound community is like-minded about the potential benefit of ultrasound, especially in low-resource healthcare facilities that have little or no imaging & that are long distances from tertiary care. I am happy that there are projects like the P.U.R.E. Initiative with the vision of seeing ultrasound training become an organic movement throughout Africa. I am also happy that there are strides being made toward having uniform standards of training in LMIC settings. There is a growing awareness of the utility of ultrasound globally now & we look forward to see that reach throughout Africa.
Check out the full-text open access article: Click here
More about AfJEM (excerpt from their newsletter)
AfJEM is an open access publication in the spirit of bringing #FOAMed to Africa. This is an important consideration, especially in a low to middle income setting where prospective readers, that may benefit from published information, will most likely not be able to access subscription based journal content. The AfJEM has no front end (author) or back end (reader) fees, & on top of that it offers a free Author Assist service that has been shown to reverse one in every four reject decisions (of manuscripts that fall within the journal’s scope) over the last five years.
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