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A new approach and first steps to strengthen trauma management and road safety in North Vietnam

Author(s): Schmucker Uli | Ottersbach Caspar | Frank Matthias | Xuan Hien Luong | Bogar Lajos | Ekkernkamp Axel | Stengel Dirk | Matthes Gerrit

Journal: Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes
ISSN 1752-2897

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background In Vietnam, the number of road traffic accidents increased dramatically which is a major threat for the national health system. Reliable data on the magnitude of traffic accidents as well as the current management of victims is missing. Our multistep international cooperation project aims to (1) identify local needs and knowledge related to trauma management, to (2) assess basic behavioural patterns and attitudes of road users in order to (3) establish a school-based educational programme and trauma courses for doctors. Methods and results As part of a European Union co-financed cooperation, two European and one Vietnamese university set up three action lines (Trauma and Emergency Courses, school-based education programs, public awareness campaigns). Specific contents of the activities were derived from a literature search, a questionnaire pilot-study and by panel consensus technique. After adjustment to local capabilities (equipment, infrastructure, etc.) these were implemented within a professional network of hospitals, schools, public and media institutions. The literature research and questionnaire results from 1 000 young road users indicates that for pedestrian and two-wheelers accidents, low compliance with traffic regulations and high prevalence of risk-taking behaviour dominate Vietnam's road traffic environment. A school-based educational program (4 hrs/month) was set up using teachers who were trained on road safety issues. Also, major parts of the public awareness campaigns (i.e. broadcasts, media conferences) reflected these topics. From panel discussions and Delphi-technique, diagnosis and early treatment of severe head trauma and internal haemorrhage were identified as topics of highest interest for doctors therefore representing key topics of the Trauma and Emergency Courses. Conclusion Knowledge on behaviour and attitudes of road users in Vietnam as well as on local infrastructure and effective networks is essential to establish sustainable and effective countermeasures. Our approach might serve as guideline for future small scale projects as it proved to be feasible, cost-effective but provided scientific base for immediate on spot activities.
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