Emergency preparedness and response has evolved into a specialised area of intervention with dedicated international and local organisations, departments in Ministry of Health set up exclusively for this purpose, and the increasing use of technology and innovations. Timely and efficient coordination of various actors has been a need of the times, as well as building capacities of public health staff and aid workers.
Doctors Without Borders Thailand organised a Regional Emergency Response workshop in Bangkok from 18th till 25th June. A diverse group of participants from various countries including Bangladesh, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand including many regional CDC (Center for Disease Control) representatives with a vast experience in humanitarian work and emergencies participated in this one week workshop.
The inaugural session of the workshop was attended by Mr. Jetsada Wattananurak, Director of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation for Region 4 who welcomed the participants and shared his insights on the disaster management systems in place in Thailand. This was followed by Col. Dr. Chokechai Kwanpichit, Director of Army Medical Centre, Southern Provinces who presented the role of the Army Medical Centre in various emergencies in Thailand.
The main objective of the workshop was to introduce a strategic approach regarding management of emergencies. The participants focused on strategies that would allow them to:
- Be better prepared to be able to detect and appropriately manage emergency alerts.
- Know what the main emergency intervention criteria are (how to analyse different scenarios).
- Know what the main emergency intervention strategies and procedures are (how to adapt intervention to different situations).
Commenting on the workshop, Dr Prince Mathew, Managing Director, Doctors Without Borders Thailand, said, “The workshop brought together a diverse group of participants and facilitated the sharing of best practices with regard to the management of different types of medical emergency responses including outbreaks of Malaria, Meningitis, Natural Disasters etc. We have doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, Water and Sanitation specialists, Ministry of Health officials participating in this training, all of who have their own unique role to play in humanitarian emergencies in their countries. We look forward to organising similar workshops in the region and to use Thailand as a regional base for the ASEAN region for emergency responses.”
For for more information on the workshop and interview requests:
Dr. Prince Matthew, Managing Director, Doctors Without Borders Thailand (English)
Sumit Punnakari, Resource Manager, Doctors Without Borders Thailand (Thai)