Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Internal and Emergency Medicine




School of Science / School of Arts and Humanities / School of Medical and Health Sciences


Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions


Afrifa-Yamoah, E., Nunfam, V. F., Kwanin, B. A., & Frimpong, K. (2024). Ecology of emergency care in lower-tier healthcare providers in Ghana: An empirical data-driven Bayesian network analytical approach. Internal and Emergency Medicine. Advance online publication.


The healthcare landscape in Ghana is primarily composed of lower-tier providers, which serve as the initial point of contact for most medical emergencies. This study aimed to assess the emergency care preparedness and readiness of primary healthcare providers using a robust evaluation approach. A multicentre retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted on 460 healthcare facilities using the standardised Health Facilities Emergency Preparedness Assessment Tool (HeFEPAT). Data were analysed via Bayesian Belief network. Emergency preparedness was associated with facility location, type, ownership, and in-charge personnel. Over 70% of facilities lacked specialised emergency/critical care personnel. Although 65% of in-charges reported protocol knowledge, only 7.8% could execute cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 90% of facilities lacked onsite defibrillators, and over 80% had no cerebrovascular accident medications. Road traffic accident protocols were largely unavailable, with an estimated 53% probability of lacking such protocols. Private-owned facilities were more likely to lack protocols for road traffic accidents (76% vs 20% probability) and general acute care (62% vs 32%) compared to government-owned facilities. Significant gaps in emergency preparedness were identified across the studied health facilities, indicating limited capacity to manage critical situations effectively. Urgent investments in emergency medicine training, essential resources, and evidence-based protocols are needed. Standardised emergency preparedness assessments should be implemented for accreditation and quality improvement. Further research can inform the development of national guidelines and targeted interventions to strengthen emergency response capacities.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.