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Geospatial relationship of road traffic crashes and healthcare facilities with trauma surgical capabilities in Nairobi, Kenya: defining gaps in coverage.

  • Author(s): Shaw, Brian I
  • Wangara, Ali Akida
  • Wambua, Gladys Mbatha
  • Kiruja, Jason
  • Dicker, Rochelle A
  • Mweu, Judith Mutindi
  • Juillard, Catherine
  • et al.
Abstract

Background:Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Access to timely emergency services is needed to decrease the morbidity and mortality of RTIs and other traumatic injuries. Our objective was to describe the distribution of roadtrafficcrashes (RTCs) in Nairobi with the relative distance and travel times for victims of RTCs to health facilities with trauma surgical capabilities. Methods:RTCs in Nairobi County were recorded by the Ma3route app from May 2015 to October 2015 with latitude and longitude coordinates for each RTC extracted using geocoding. Health facility administrators were interviewed to determine surgical capacity of their facilities. RTCs and health facilities were plotted on maps using ArcGIS. Distances and travel times between RTCs and health facilities were determined using the Google Maps Distance Matrix API. Results:89 percent (25/28) of health facilities meeting inclusion criteria were evaluated. Overall, health facilities were well equipped for trauma surgery with 96% meeting WHO Minimal Safety Criteria. 76 percent of facilities performed greater than 12 of three pre-selected 'Bellweather Procedures' shown to correlate with surgical capability. The average travel time and distance from RTCs to the nearest health facilities surveyed were 7 min and 3.4 km, respectively. This increased to 18 min and 9.6 km if all RTC victims were transported to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). Conclusion:Almost all hospitals surveyed in the present study have the ability to care for trauma patients. Treating patients directly at these facilities would decrease travel time compared with transfer to KNH. Nairobi County could benefit from formally coordinating the triage of trauma patients to more facilities to decrease travel time and potentially improve patient outcomes. Level of evidence:III.

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