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PLoS One. 2019 Feb 8;14(2):e0211777. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211777. eCollection 2019.

Changes in the healthcare utilization after establishment of emergency centre in Yaoundé, Cameroon: A before and after cross-sectional survey analysis.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Emergency Medical Services, Seoul National University Hospital Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
3
Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonkwang University School of Medicine and Wonkwang University Sanbon Hospital, Gyeonggi, Korea.
4
Korea International Cooperation Agency, Cameroon Office, Yaoundé, Republic of Cameroon.
5
Yaoundé Emergency Center (Centre des Urgences de Yaoundé), Yaoundé, Cameroon.
6
Department of Emergency Medicine, Kyungpook National University Chilkok Hospital, Daegu, Korea.
7
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Republic of Cameroon.
8
Disease Control, Epidemics and Pandemics, Ministry of Public Health, Republic of Cameroon.

Abstract

In effort to address the shortage of emergency medical care in Cameroon, the Yaoundé Emergency Center (CURY) was established in June, 2015 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. To evaluate its impact on the communities of Yaoundé, we assessed the changes in utilizations of emergency medical care since the establishment of the CURY. In 2014 the first survey was conducted on randomly selected 619 households (3,201 individuals) living in six health districts of Yaoundé. In 2017 the second quantitative survey was conducted on 622 households (3,472 individuals) using the same survey methods as the first survey. In both surveys, data on demographic information, socioeconomic status, and utilization of healthcare, including emergency care in the past year were collected on every member of the households via face-to-face interview. Data on two surveys were compared. Participants in the both surveys had similar age and gender distribution with mean age of 21-22 and 46% being male. In 2014 survey, healthcare utilization rates for emergency unit, outpatient, and hospitalization were 4.8%, 36.7%, and 10.0%, respectively. In 2017 survey, corresponding rates were 5.8%, 32.5%, and 9.2%%, respectively. The increase in the utilization of emergency unit between two surveys showed a marginal statistical significance (p = 0.08), while outpatient utilization showed statistically significant decrease from 2014 to 2017 survey (from 36.7% to 32.5%; p <0.001). After the establishment of a dedicated emergency medical center in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the utilization of emergency care was increased in the Yaoundé community. Further studies are warranted to examine the direct effect of the establishment of the CURY on healthcare utilization in Yaoundé.

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