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Knowledge management on Disaster Health Management (DHM) is one of the priority areas in the Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on DHM (POA/ ALD DHM) (2019-2025). The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been implementing the Project for Strengthening the ASEAN Regional Capacity on Disaster Health Management (ARCH Project) since 2016 to assist the ASEAN region in strengthening coordination capacity on DHM. A regional training course on DHM for ASEAN member states (AMS) in Japan was proposed to be implemented in 2022 as a JICA’s Knowledge Co-creation Program (KCCP).
The training curriculum of the KCCP included emergency and disaster medicine in Japan, international trends on DHM, and underwent reviews by AMS representatives of the ARCH Project. Prior to the training, participants were required to prepare country reports (CRs) outlining information on legislation, system and structure related to emergency and disaster medicine, as well as systems to receive international emergency medical teams (I-EMTs).
The four-week KCCP course contained a trial implementation of a four-day training program for receiving I-EMTs and coordination among stakeholders in ASEAN disaster response, based on the regional standard curriculum developed by the ARCH Project, and invited experts in DHM not only from Japan but also from AMS as instructors. Participants analyzed and identified challenges on DHM in their countries, and developed draft action plans (APs) to improve the situation through the knowledge obtained from the program.
The draft APs, the training deliverables, will be shared with the ARCH Project, and used to build a support mechanism to achieve national level targets of the POA/ ALD DHM, and the progress will be reflected in the CR in the subsequent year. The KCCP on DHM is expected to facilitate knowledge sharing in AMS and Japan, and contribute to fostering the culture of mutual learning.
The Asia Pacific Conference on Disaster Medicine (APCDM) started in 1988 in Osaka, Japan, and the 14th conference was held from October 16-182, 2018, in Kobe.
To give a rundown of the 14th APCDM and a proposal for WADEM.
Retrospective analysis of participants, the category of presentations, and deliverables.
With “Building Bridges for Disaster Preparedness and Response” as its main theme, the 14th APCDM was held near the epicenter of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake in Kobe. The total number of participants was 524 from 35 countries, not only from Asia and the Pacific but also Europe and the Americas. Its program had 10 lectures by distinguished speakers such as WADEM Board members and WHO (World Health Organization), four symposia, two panel, oral and 99 poster presentations. “Preparedness” and “Education and Training” were the categories with the largest number of presentations. The presidential lecture outlined improvements made in Japan since the Great Hanshin Earthquake (disaster base hospitals, disaster medical assistance teams, emergency medical information system, and disaster medical coordinators) and emphasized the importance of standardizing components for better disaster management. This idea was echoed in symposia and round-table discussions, where experts from WHO, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), and ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries discussed other components such as SPEED (Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergency and Disasters) and standardization of Emergency Medical Teams.
Each country in the disaster-prone Asia-Pacific region has a different disaster management system. However, participants agreed in this conference that we can cope with disasters more efficiently by sharing the standardized components, from both academic and practical points of view. APCDM must provide these deliverables to WADEM, so both conferences can cooperate and contribute to disaster preparedness and prevention in the new era.
To investigate the adequacy of hospital disaster preparedness in the Osaka, Japan area.
Questionnaires were constructed to elicit information from hospital administrators, pharmacists, and safety personnel about self-sufficiency in electrical, gas, water, food, and medical supplies in the event of a disaster. Questionnaires were mailed to 553 hospitals.
A total of 265 were completed and returned (Recovery rate; 48%). Of the respondents, 16% of hospitals that returned the completed surveys had an external disaster plan, 93% did not have back-up plans to accept casualties during a disaster if all beds were occupied, 8% had drugs and 6% had medical supplies stockpiled for disasters. In 78% of hospitals, independent electric power generating plants had been installed. However, despite a high proportion of power-plant equipment available, 57% of hospitals responding estimated that emergency power generation would not exceed six hours due to a shortage of reserve fuel. Of the hospitals responding, 71% had reserve water supply, 15% of hospitals responding had stockpiles of food for emergency use, and 83% reported that it would be impossible to provide meals for patients and staff with no main gas supply.
No hospitals fulfilled the criteria for adequate disaster preparedness based on the categories queried. Areas of greatest concern requiring improvement were: 1) lack of an external disaster plan; and 2) self-sufficiency in back-up energy, water, and food supply. It is recommended that hospitals in Japan be required to develop plans for emergency operations in case of an external disaster. This should be linked with hospital accreditation as is done for internal disaster plans.
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