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Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;21(1):s8-12.

Coordination and resource maximization during disaster relief efforts.

Author information

1
Headquarters Medical Corps, Singapore Armed Forces. vernonljm@hotmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

In the aftermath of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Southeast Asia, many relief organizations sent medical aid to affected areas.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this paper is to examine the mix of healthcare workers resulting from an influx of aid to Meulaboh, Indonesia, and how they met local healthcare needs.

METHODS:

Data were collected from the registration center for relief organizations in Meulaboh and daily hospital meetings on healthcare needs and available workers.

RESULTS:

Prior to the Tsunami, there were 14 doctors and 120 nurses in the hospital. By the third week after the Tsunami, there were 21 surgeons performing 10 surgeries daily, and >20 non-surgical doctors in the 90-bed hospital. There were <70 nurses available during the month after the Tsunami, which was insufficient for the needs of the hospital. In the town of Meulaboh, the number of doctors exceeded the number of nurses, while public health workers comprised <5% of the healthcare workers.

CONCLUSION:

An initial disaster-coordinating agency, formed by the United Nations (UN) in conjunction with affected countries, should link actively with relief organizations. This will optimize help in meeting local needs, and direct relief to where it is needed most.

PMID:
16602267
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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