An educational pathway and teaching materials for first aid training of children in sub-Saharan Africa based on the best available evidence

De Buck, Emmy ; Laermans, Jorien ; Vanhove, Anne-Catherine ; Dockx, Kim ; Vandekerckhove, Philippe ; Geduld, Heike (2020-06-03)

CITATION: De Buck, E., et al. 2020. An educational pathway and teaching materials for first aid training of children in sub-Saharan Africa based on the best available evidence. BMC Public Health, 20:836, doi:10.1186/s12889-020-08857-5.

The original publication is available at https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com

Article

Background: First aid training is a cost-effective way to decrease the burden of disease and injury in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Since evidence from Western countries has shown that children are able to learn first aid, first aid training of children in LMIC may be a promising way forward. Hence, our project aim was to develop contextualized materials to train sub-Saharan African children in first aid, based on the best available evidence. Methods: Systematic literature searches were conducted to identify studies on first aid education to children up to 18 years old (research question one), and studies investigating different teaching approaches (broader than first aid) in LMIC (research question two). A multidisciplinary expert panel translated the evidence to the context of sub- Saharan Africa, and evidence and expert input were used to develop teaching materials. Results: For question one, we identified 58 studies, measuring the effect of training children in resuscitation, first aid for skin wounds, poisoning etc. For question two, two systematic reviews were included from which we selected 36 studies, revealing the effectiveness of several pedagogical methods, such as problem-solving instruction and small-group instruction. However, the certainty of the evidence was low to very low. Hence expert input was necessary to formulate training objectives and age ranges based on “good practice” whenever the quantity or quality of the evidence was limited. The experts also placed the available evidence against the African context. Conclusions: The above approach resulted in an educational pathway (i.e. a scheme with educational goals concerning first aid for different age groups), a list of recommended educational approaches, and first aid teaching materials for children, based on the best available evidence and adapted to the African context.

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