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BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 Nov 6;18(1):835. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3609-5.

Disaster preparedness and response capacity of regional hospitals in Tanzania: a descriptive cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Emergency Medicine Department, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
2
Emergency Medicine Department, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. hsawe@muhas.ac.tz.
3
Emergency Medicine Department, Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. hsawe@muhas.ac.tz.
4
Emergency Department, Al-Zahra Hospital Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
5
Emergency Medicine Department, Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
6
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
7
Department for the Management of NCDs, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tanzania has witnessed several disasters in the past decade, which resulted in substantial mortality, long-term morbidity, and significant socio-economic losses. Health care facilities and personnel are critical to disaster response. We assessed the current state of disaster preparedness and response capacity among Tanzanian regional hospitals.

METHODS:

This descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted in all Tanzanian regional hospitals between May 2012 and December 2012. Data were prospectively collected using a structured questionnaire based on the World Health Organization National Health Sector Emergency Preparedness and Response Tool. Trained medical doctors conducted structured interviews and direct observations in each hospital.

RESULTS:

We surveyed 25 regional hospitals (100% capture) in mainland Tanzania, in which interviews were conducted with 13-hospital doctors incharge, 9 matrons and 4 heads of casualty. All the hospitals were found to have inadequate numbers of all cadres of health care providers to support effective disaster response. 92% of hospitals reported experiencing a disaster in the past 5 years; with the top three being large motor vehicle accidents 22 (87%), floods 7 (26%) and infectious disease outbreaks 6 (22%). Fifteen hospitals (60%) had a disaster committee, but only five (20%) had a disaster plan. No hospital had all components of surge capacity. Although all had electricity and back-up generators, only 3 (12%) had a back-up communication system.

CONCLUSION:

This nationwide survey found that hospital disaster preparedness is at an early stage of development in Tanzania, and important opportunities exist to better prepare regional hospitals to respond to disasters.

KEYWORDS:

Africa; Disaster preparedness; Emergency care; Emergency response; Tanzania

PMID:
30400927
PMCID:
PMC6219171
DOI:
10.1186/s12913-018-3609-5
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