The success of the Nepal Ambulance Service depends on many factors, not the least of which is a strong public awareness campaign. The NAS Public Awareness Campaign will be extensive and built around a strategy of Behavioral Change Communications.
In particular NAS will need to communicate the nature and importance of emergency medical services (EMS) to the general public and the value of life saving efforts taking place within NAS ambulances. In various campaigns involving Social Mobilization, Media Mobilization, and Public Relations activities the public will come to value and respect NAS ambulances.
Special media and public awareness campaigns will also be aimed at fundraising.
Because EMS doesn’t exist in Nepal the general public are unaware of the importance of what medical professionals call the “golden first hour”. Emergency medical personnel the world over agree that if a trauma victim can receive emergency medical intervention within the first hour after a trauma event, the survival statistics for that victim increase dramatically.
In an emergency, an easy to remember toll free telephone number can mean the difference between life and death. What’s more, having a dispatch center to log calls and maintain contact with ambulances by VHF radio and mobile phone means that the closest available ambulance will be dispatched to a scene in response to a call, thus expediting the arrival of an NAS ambulance on scene.
Know the number, make the call. Save a life.
Prank calls in any EMS network are unavoidable. NAS must minimize prank calls by getting the message out that prank calls waste money and cost lives.
Pull over for NAS ambulances
Radio is the primary communications outlet in Nepal and NAS will focus on both AM and FM airwaves to get its message out. Radio spots and in-person appearances on community talk and call-in programs by NAS spokespersons will characterize the radio media outreach.
TV spots will feature NAS life saving equipment and EMT interventions. Since “seeing is believing”, the best way to convince people of the value of NAS ambulances is to show what goes on inside an NAS ambulance during an emergency. Print media will exploit the many newsprint and magazine outlets popular in Nepal.
As part of social mobilization, various district authorities, local organizations and stakeholders will undertake on a volunteer and/or cost sharing basis forming various advisory committees and taskforces to disseminate key messages. Such groups will also implement support activities among school children, and local clubs, and other community organizations.
Mobilization of FM stations and TV channels to air the materials developed and to organize various talk and discussion programs to support this initiative and its activities in the country.