The important 60 minutes – trainings save lives in Lebanon

Roads for Life  – an Alliance member in Lebanon – strongly believes that a swift and efficient intervention by emergency teams on the scene of the crash would help save each year lives lost on the roads. The organization gives trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, nurses, and Red Cross volunteers world-class training to help improve the chance of survival for road victims in the first 60 minutes of the crash, what is called the “Golden Period of Trauma” or the critical period after an crash occurs when proper care can help save lives or reduce disability. Roads for Life since 2011 has been delivering high quality American certification training to professionals involved in the chain of trauma care, and has sponsored till date 335 doctors, 65 nurses, and 250 paramedics from more than 90 public and private hospitals across Lebanon.

In addition to Roads for Life’s successful lobbying work for ratification of a new modern traffic law in Lebanon that was finally implemented in 22April 2015, the organization tackled an important cause that concerns everyone, and worked hand in hand with professionals to enhance the quality of “Trauma Care” throughout the Lebanese territory.

What started as an individual initiative launched by Roads for Life three years ago, has since been officially consecrated through a circular, issued by the Lebanese Minister of Health on 9 June 2014.  The circular marks an important step forward towards the development of Lebanon’s system for the care of injured patients, setting forth the expectation that health care providers across the spectrum, including prehospital providers, nurses and physicians, must have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide top-quality care in the critical moments following injury. The circular makes it compulsory for hospitals to adopt these three training programs for their staff and this training will become a pre-requisite for emergency rooms accreditation in all governmental and private hospital. Roads for Life has also expanded its efforts to encompass the military and security forces, with the aim to acquire the best skills possible to help crash victims before they are taken to hospital to receive the necessary medical care.

The framework of Roads for Life falls into the fifth pillar of the Global Plan for the decade of action for Road Safety 2011-2020 initiated by the United Nations. Although new to the Decade of Action activities, Roads for Life work is crucial to raise awareness and to promote the importance of “post-crash care.”

Roads for Life – The Talal Kassem Fund for Post Crash Care in Lebanon was born after the tragic loss of Talal Kassem, a 17 year-old boy who was run over by reckless driving on 19 October 2010, while crossing the street on the way to school. Despite the huge loss of the boy’s mother, Zeina Kassem, president and founder of Roads for Life – The Talal Kassem Fund for Post Crash Care, decided to make a difference and started the NGO to improve post trauma care in Lebanon and promote road safety policies.