PTC Comes to Connaught

Over the past few months, the KSLP team have been working with Connaught Hospital and COMAHS to bring Primary Trauma Care courses to Sierra Leone for the first time.

Here, our Anaesthetics Volunteer Caroline outlines the importance of the PTC courses for improving delivery of care.

We are very pleased to announce completion of the very first Primary Trauma Care (PTC) courses with training of trainers at Connaught Hospital, Freetown!

The PTC Foundation is a non-profit organization which exists to prevent death and disability due to injury in developing countries, where the burden of trauma is high and can have devastating implications for individuals, communities and societies.1

Set up by clinicians in 1996, and delivered in more than 70 countries around the world, the two-day PTC course trains frontline doctors and health professionals in a systematic approach to emergency assessment and management of severely injured patients. Designed specifically for the low-income setting, PTC focuses on utilising the equipment and facilities available in the local context, and can therefore be delivered almost anywhere.

In turn, by training local trainers, PTC empowers countries where the need is greatest, to train their own staff in a way that is “appropriate, adaptable, affordable, sustainable”2.

In 2016 it was found that trauma accounts for 68% of adult surgical admissions, and nearly one third of paediatric admissions to Connaught Hospital. At the same time, a gap in staff training and knowledge was identified, generating enthusiasm for formalised trauma education.

Our aim is to deliver multi-disciplinary training promoting a team approach to trauma, to complement requirements of the postgraduate surgical residency programme at Connaught, and to disseminate knowledge to more rural centres via junior doctors rotating through the teaching hospitals complex.

With eleven new and enthusiastic local instructors including six surgical residents, two medical officers, two trauma nurses and one nurse anaesthetist, participant feedback highlighted the benefits of multi-disciplinary working. A third course was run exclusively by our new instructor team in July, and attended by doctors, trauma, triage and surgical nurses, and the hospital’s referral coordinator. We are proud to have supported the training of a total of 66 staff since April!

We would like to thank our donors, Johnson & Johnson’s Africa Grants Programme (AGP), managed through the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) for funding this course as part of a wider project aiming to implement structured trauma care and improve surgical safety at Connaught Hospital, Freetown. Without them such training would not be possible.

Many thanks to Connaught Hospital and The College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) for hosting this course. We would like to thank the Department of Surgery for their motivation to improve trauma care and bring PTC to Sierra Leone. We are grateful to the trauma, surgical, intensive care, operating theatre and anaesthesia nursing teams for their enthusiasm, involvement and drive to widen training opportunities for nurses at Connaught Hospital. Acknowledgements to the Royal College of Anaesthetists (UK), for supporting the course director’s position.


  1.  Gosselin RA, Spiegel DA, Coughlin R, Zirkle LG. Injuries: the neglected burden in developing countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization2009;87:246-246. doi: 10.2471/BLT.08.052290
  2. The Primary Trauma Care Foundation. Accessed online:

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