Being a vast country with diverse terrains and geographies, India can have its own model for disaster or emergency response which can be emulated by other countries, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said during his address at the consultative workshop on National Emergency Medical Team (NEMT).
Dr Mandaviya added that “While it is important to learn from global best practices and follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), let us learn from the national examples of emergency and disaster response in the past few decades and enrich our model from learning and insights from these.
The multi-sectoral and multilayered learning need to be incorporated in the training and capacity building modules of the national architecture of emergency response and management”. He further stressed that “The India model can go beyond the prescribed SOPs and be more flexible and agile to respond to exigencies on the ground”.
“The purpose of the two days workshop is to bring together all stakeholders of the NEMT initiative to deliberate on the policy, strategy, roles and responsibilities of the initiative and prepare a roadmap for integrating the needs of the country for disaster preparedness aligning the health needs during disaster situation in concordance with standard disaster response,” Mandaviya said in an official statement.
“Health emergencies prevention, preparedness and responses form one of the priority areas under the G20 Health Track agenda. This is the first meeting soon after the G20 Health Working Group meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala between January 18 and 20, it added.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan emphasized the importance of collaboration with multiple building blocks in existence including the NDMA, NDRF, state agencies, emergency service providers, trauma centres etc. Noting as these largely work presented in a fragmented state, he highlighted the crucial need for synergizing efforts between them to ensure agility and rapid and effective response.
“The National Emergency Medical Team (NEMT) initiative aims to revamp the traditional responsive mode of healthcare manpower deployment in response to disasters and public health emergencies. EMT is defined as a group of healthcare professionals providing direct clinical care to populations affected by outbreaks and emergencies as surge capacity in supporting the local healthcare system,” the statement added.
“During any emergency or disaster, the core capacities required to prepare for and mitigate the impact of any public health emergency remain largely the same. For the deployed teams to be effective, they are required to be formally trained and equipped not only in terms of clinical skills but also in terms of on-field coordination with other stakeholders on-field. Globally it has been seen that such EMTs need to be trained, standardized and quality assured to give predictable on-ground support to disaster response,” it added.
The two days workshop will deliberate on four crucial aspects relevant to emergency medical teams, including, system, staff, supplies and structure, it added.
(with inputs from ANI)