Emergency medical care is a key component of any health system; however, it is often neglected in low- and middle-income countries, where it is needed most. Injuries from road traffic collisions and violence are leading causes of death in children and young adults worldwide, in addition to numerous other illnesses amenable to emergency intervention spanning all ages. Emergency medical care becomes even more important in areas of conflict, where for every direct injury from conflict, there is an even greater increase in injuries from the secondary breakdown of society.
International Medical Corps, a non-governmental humanitarian organization, has extensive experience building functioning emergency care systems in numerous countries, including most recently Iraq and Haiti. It has led the development of national emergency care plans and spearheaded the training of thousands of EMTs, nurses, and doctors worldwide, as well as the establishment of emergency prehospital and hospital-based systems of care.
Ross I. Donaldson, MD, MPH, CTropMed, FACEP is the critically acclaimed author of The Lassa Ward, a memoir about international aid work, as well as other medical texts and software. He is Global Head of Emergency & Disaster Care Development at International Medical Corps, where he has received and managed over $15 million in grants for emergency health care system strengthening. He is also the Director of the Emergency Medicine Global Health Program at Harbor-UCLA and holds appointments in the UCLA schools of medicine and public health.
Featured on CNN, BBC, NPR, and other media outlets, Dr. Donaldson is an internationally recognized expert on the global provision of emergency and disaster care. Among other honors, he received the Humanitarian Award from the California chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians in 2010.