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Regional Engagement Program: Supporting Local Leadership and Building Local Skills and Knowledge in Order to Develop a Systematic Approach to Disaster Medical Management

  • Lisa Vermeulen (a1) and Dianne Stephens (a1)

Abstract

Introduction:

One of the key components in any effective disaster response is the capacity of local communities to respond in a timely and efficient manner. Over the last 3 years, the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre in Darwin has been involved in building regional capacity across the Asia-Pacific, supporting local leadership and building local skills and knowledge in order to develop a systematic approach to disaster medical management.

Aim:

This presentation is to describe the Regional Engagement Program, its strengths, weaknesses, and outcomes.

Methods:

We will describe the background to the program, the process for regional engagement and the Results of our evaluation. The program used the Major Incident Medical Management Systems (MIMMS) approach which was delivered in-country and included identifying and using local personnel to deliver the program. The program was conducted across the region in Myanmar, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa, Timor, and Indonesia. Initially the courses were run by personnel from Australia but through engagement with local Ministries of Health and collaboration with identified key stakeholders, we have been able to build local faculty to ensure sustainability and local ownership.

Results:

Thirty-six personnel have been trained across four countries. Thirty-six candidates are now instructors, with a further 36 identified for future development as instructors. The evaluation illustrates the long-term partnerships that have been developed and the ongoing capacity development of key regional partners.

Discussion:

The Regional Engagement program demonstrates that prolonged engagement with key regional stakeholders and adequate and sustained mentoring will successfully build local capacity to the level needed to mount a successful response to a disaster. Personnel trained through this program helped guide the response to the Lombok earthquake and in Fiji, a MIMMS Team Member training program was conducted with minimal external support.

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