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COVID-19 as an Accelerator of the Implementation of Emergency Medical Teams Initiative in the AFRO Region

Bompangue, Didier, Oyugi, Boniface, Bokulu, Melanie, Tshijuke, Serge Mudipanu, Das, Timothy, Conteh, Ishata Nannie, Ejiofor, Nonso Ephraim, Abok, Patrick, Okeibunor, Joseph, Salio, Flavio, and others. (2023) COVID-19 as an Accelerator of the Implementation of Emergency Medical Teams Initiative in the AFRO Region. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 17 . Article Number e489. ISSN 1935-7893. E-ISSN 1938-744X. (doi:10.1017/dmp.2023.31) (KAR id:102764)



This study describes the progress that the World Health Organization (WHO) African (AFRO) region has made in establishing National Emergency Medical Teams (N-EMTs), the coordination mechanisms of the EMTs, and the regional training centers.


It used a retrospective descriptive analysis of the formulation and implementation of the EMTs Initiative from an insider perspective. The analysis is based on the review of available documents such as EMTs mission reports, assessments, surveys, EMT monthly bulletins, and meeting minutes in addition to key informant interviews (n = 5) with the EMT teams’ members to validate the findings and share field experiences.


The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acted as an accelerator for the implementation of the EMT initiative in the AFRO region. A total of 18 EMT deployments were carried out in 16 countries in the AFRO region through the WHO EMT-network during COVID-19, providing support to countries in managing severe and critical COVID-19 cases.


A Regional Training Center for N-EMTs is being set up in Addis Ababa to train the N-EMTs and strengthen local capacity of health personnel in the region. Challenges include unavailability of mentors to support countries in implementing N-EMTs and the Regional Simulation Training Center, poor funding, and coordination in the rolling out of the N-EMTs.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/dmp.2023.31
Projects: Emergency Medical Teams
Uncontrolled keywords: emergency medical team; COVID-19, World Health Organization
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Boniface Oyugi
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2023 15:22 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 22:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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