In October 2004, a World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) Seminar was convened in Brusselsby the Education Committee to discuss Disaster Education and Training. During this seminar, it became apparent that there was no single tool available to assess knowledge, skills, and resources within this field. Therefore, a tool was administered to 50 of the delegates to assess if the tool would facilitate information-sharing and curriculum development in disaster health education.
The WADEM Education Committee devised a reference scheme for disaster health training and education based on seven educational levels within a framework based on the Bradt model. A questionnaire was developed to answer questions regarding current practices in disaster health education and training, and the perceived barriers to creating an international system of standards, guidelines, and accreditation. The questionnaire was sent to all of the delegates and the responses were analyzed.
The questionnaire was useful for information-sharing and curriculum development. Based on the respondents' experience, strategies were put forward for adopting better coordinated framework for disaster health education and training. This questionnaire should be updated and repeated annually within the WADEM. Wider use of the tool is recommended to help evaluate current educational resources in disaster health and in the wider educational field. It could facilitate the development and audit of current and future courses. An international system for education and training should lead to more efficient and coordinated health responses to disasters.