TraumaLink taking the road one kilometre at a time

As another Eid is about to commence, the pressure on the highways is reaching a peak. Unfortunate accidents too are lurking as rampant reckless driving and deplorable road conditions continue. While BRTA officially has listed 1,489 accidents in 2016 up to July, according to a 2012 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), every year, on average 21,000 people die on the roads in Bangladesh. The same report states 80 percent of trauma patients die before reaching the hospital.

Created in 2013, TraumaLink is an emergency response system that focuses on road accidents, providing immediate attention to the victims.They are currently operating on about 19 kilometres of the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in Daudkandi, working with 100 volunteers who have already responded to more than 250 emergency calls and treated over 400 injured patients so far.

The volunteers are trained in specific modules targeted towards immediate attention after an accident. Also, they are selected based on their proximity to the road. As soon as an accident is reported, local bystanders call the 24/7 hotline. Every kilometre of the covered area has 4 volunteers assigned for quick dispatch. TraumaLink trains its volunteers to attend to the immediate needs, specifically in stopping the bleeding. Their emergency kits are fitted with first aid and volunteers also have stretchers.

This year on August 22, TraumaLink organised a launching event to celebrate the grand opening of a Trauma First Aid Service on 20km of the Dhaka-Aricha Highway in Manikganj. Considering the Eid rush, they have extended their operation upto 15 kilometres on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway (Chandina). 

Director of Operations Esha Chowdhury emphasises on the humanitarian mind-set she has seen so far in the volunteers. Starting from local shop owners to housewives, the enthusiasm to assist the injured people is phenomenal. A lot of the volunteers, before Traumalink's inception, had helped in such accidents before. Now with a systematic method of helping the people, the volunteers are embracing their work whole-heartedly.

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