This paper highlights the use of information technology (IT) in disaster management and public health management of disasters. Effective health response to disasters will depend on three important lines of action: (1) disaster preparedness; (2) emergency relief; and (3) management of disasters. This is facilitated by the presence of modern communication and space technology, especially the Internet and remote sensing satellites. This has made the use of databases, knowledge bases, geographic information systems (GIS), management information systems (MIS), information transfer, and online connectivity possible in the area of disaster management and medicine.
This paper suggests a conceptual model called, “The Model for Public Health Management of Disasters for South Asia”. This Model visualizes the use of IT in the public health management of disasters by setting up the Health and Disaster Information Network and Internet Community Centers, which will facilitate cooperation among all those in the areas of disaster management and emergency medicine. The suggested infrastructure would benefit the governments, non-government organizations, and institutions working in the areas of disaster and emergency medicine, professionals, the community, and all others associated with disaster management and emergency medicine. The creation of such an infrastructure will enable the rapid transfer of information, data, knowledge, and online connectivity from top officials to the grassroots organizations, and also among these countries regionally. This Model may be debated, modified, and tested further in the field to suit the national and local conditions. It is hoped that this exercise will result in a viable and practical model for use in public health management of disasters by South Asian countries.