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Time for Order in Chaos! A Health System Framework for Foreign Medical Teams in Earthquakes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2012

Karin Lind*
Affiliation:
Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Section of Surgery, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
Martin Gerdin
Affiliation:
Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Andreas Wladis
Affiliation:
Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Lina Westman
Affiliation:
Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Johan von Schreeb
Affiliation:
Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
*
Correspondence: Karin Lind, MD Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences Karolinska InstitutetNobels Väg 9 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden E-mail: karin.lind@sodersjukhuset.se

Abstract

The number of reported natural disasters is increasing, as is the number of foreign medical teams (FMTs) sent to provide relief. Studies show that FMTs are not coordinated, nor are they adapted to the medical needs of victims. Another key challenge to the response has been the lack of common terminologies, definitions, and frameworks for FMTs following disasters.

In this report, a conceptual health system framework that captures two essential components of health care response by FMTs after earthquakes is presented. This framework was developed using expert panels and personal experience, as well as an exhaustive literature review.

The framework can facilitate decisions for deployment of FMTs, as well as facilitate coordination in disaster-affected countries. It also can be an important tool for registering agencies that send FMTs to sudden onset disasters, and ultimately for improving disaster response.

Type
Special Report
Copyright
Copyright Nichols © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2012

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