On September 3, TraumaLink co-founders Jon Moussally and Ryan Fu, both graduates of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, gave a lunchtime lecture at Harvard on their work in Bangladesh. They discussed how they have been able to develop the first pre-hospital emergency medical system in Bangladesh, an idea that they first developed as students.
TraumaLink, founded in January 2013, is a volunteer-based emergency medical system that uses a dedicated emergency hotline number, a 24/7 call center, and community-based volunteer first responders. The organization’s goal is to help traffic crash victims survive their injuries by connecting them to local first responders. Every year in Bangladesh, almost 20,000 people die and more than 400,000 are injured in road traffic injuries, according to Tramalink’s website.
They began formal operations in November, working in a 15 km catchment area. In their first 8 months they responded to 120 calls and treated 217 injured patients. The service has been enormously successful thus far, with every call receiving a response and with volunteer arrival times of less than 5 minutes in virtually all cases.
The organization just received final approval for a USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) grant that will allow them to expand their operations by another 100 km over the next year. The goal is to eventually create a robust self-sustaining national pre-hospital system in Bangladesh, and to then use this model in other developing nations lacking these vital services.
Read more about TraumaLink, which was featured in SAI’s 2014 publication Health and South Asia.