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More than half of the world’s youth live in the Asia Pacific region, yet efforts to reduce disaster risk for adolescents are hindered by an absence of age-specific data on protection, health, and engagement.
China and Nepal have faced a recent escalation in the number of climatic and geological hazards affecting urban and rural communities. We aimed to examine disaster-related threats experienced by adolescents and their caregivers in China and Nepal, determine the scope for adolescent participation, and elicit recommendations for improving disaster risk reduction.
Sixty-nine adolescents (51% female, ages 13-19) and 72 adults (47% female, ages 22-66) participated in key informant interviews and focus group discussions in disaster-affected areas of southern China and Nepal. Using inductive content analysis, several themes were identified as key to adolescents’ needs.
Security and protection emerged as a central issue, interlinked with preparedness, timely and equitable disaster response, psychosocial support, and adolescent participation. The mental health risks emerging from trauma exposure were substantial. Adolescents made extensive contributions to disaster response including involvement in rescue efforts and delivering first aid, rebuilding homes and caring for family members. Participants forwarded a number of recommendations, including investing in psychological support, skills training, and stronger systems of protection for those at risk of family separation, trafficking, or removal from school.
The findings informed a multilevel, interconnected model for disaster risk reduction tailored to adolescents’ needs. Supporting adolescents’ recovery and long-term resilience after humanitarian crises will require coordinated efforts in preparedness, security, and mental health care.
To assess the level of all-hazards disaster preparedness and training needs of emergency department (ED) doctors and nurses in Hong Kong from their perspective, and identify factors associated with high perceived personal preparedness.
This study was a cross-sectional territory-wide online survey conducted from 9 September to 26 October, 2015.
The participants were doctors from the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine and nurses from the Hong Kong College of Emergency Nursing.
We assessed various components of all-hazards preparedness using a 25-item questionnaire. Backward logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with perceived preparedness.
A total of 107 responses were analyzed. Respondents lacked training in disaster management, emergency communication, psychological first aid, public health interventions, disaster law and ethics, media handling, and humanitarian response in an overseas setting. High perceived workplace preparedness, length of practice, and willingness to respond were associated with high perceived personal preparedness.
Given the current gaps in and needs for increased disaster preparedness training, ED doctors and nurses in Hong Kong may benefit from the development of core-competency-based training targeting the under-trained areas, measures to improve staff confidence in their workplaces, and efforts to remove barriers to staff willingness to respond. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 329–336)