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Nepal experienced a massive earthquake on 25th April, 2015 measuring 7.8 Richter scale followed by large aftershock on 12th May that further added to the destruction, especially in Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha. On request of Government of Nepal, international community extended financial and technical assistance to overcome the impact of the earthquake. Foreign Medical Teams (FMTs); now known as emergency medical team, from different countries and volunteers from within the country had helped in health service delivery.
to get a clear picture of Strengths, Weaknesses/Gaps and Areas of Improvement that would be very important in making the response better in any future events of such scale when discussed and shared with all relevant stakeholders in Nepal.
It was a multi-method study. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to have an in-depth overview of the research question and the objectives set for the study. Records and reports relating Foreign Medical Team Coordination Committee (FMTCC) and meeting minutes of Health Emergency Operation Centre were reviewed.
Total of 8,962 deaths and 22,302 injuries occurred following earthquake of which 8,864 deaths and 21,156 injuries occurred in the most affected 14 districts of Nepal. In FGD and KIIs, most of the participants highlighted the earthquake had a huge impact on infrastructures. A large number of casualties were reported immediately after earthquake. Health facilities were overloaded with injured patients. One hundred and thirty-seven FMTs from 36 countries worked in Nepal to provide medical relief.
Timely preparation and readiness of the procedures to handle the FMTs including their registration process, medical licensing procedures, procedures of coordinating mechanisms with the district, case management and treatment guidelines to be followed by the FMTs are crucial to have a better health sector response including that of FMTs.
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