Asia Pacific Nurses Meet to Enhance Disaster Management Skills

2008-10-16 12:10 853

JINAN, China, Oct. 16 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- More than 170 nursing leaders, clinicians, academicians, and government representatives from China and other Asia Pacific countries are meeting today in Jinan, Shandong. The event will reinforce knowledge and skills in psychosocial health management, infectious diseases prevention, disaster related outbreaks, environmental health, communication, information management, and global network related to emergencies and disasters specific for the nursing sector.

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"Nurses are often the first medical personnel on site after disaster strikes," said Dr Eric Laroche, WHO Assistant Director General for Health Action in Crises." In these situations where resources are scarce, nurses are called upon to take roles as first responder, direct care provider, on-site coordinator of care, information provider or educator, mental health counselor and triage officer. Meetings such as this provide an invaluable opportunity to increase skills and share experiences."

In 2005 alone, more than 157 million people were affected by natural events worldwide, many of which occurred in Asia and the Pacific areas.

Responding to the urgency of coordinated and maximum response, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Offices for South-East Asia (SEARO) and the Western Pacific (WPRO) organized the "2008 Meeting of the Asia Pacific Emergency and Disaster Nursing Network and Health Emergency Partners." The event received support from the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China and Shandong University School of Nursing.

The meeting is being held at the Shandong University School of Nursing in Jinan on 16-20 October, 2008. The theme is "Innovative Emergency and Disaster Nursing Education and Training - United for Action." It aims to strengthen and sustain emergency and disaster nursing network membership, education and research through communication technologies and cross-country partnerships. Progress on emergency and disaster nursing network that started in 2007 will also be evaluated.

The first two days is set for strategic network sessions to be followed by a three-day technical training and action planning workshop. The meetings will be conducted in English and Mandarin and facilitated by emergency and disaster experts from WHO regional and country offices and participating countries.

Global networks in emergency and disaster response must be enhanced to facilitate collaboration in sustainability, capacity-building, experience-sharing, and resource mobilization. The nursing sector is a significant stakeholder in multinational and multi-sector partnerships that will strengthen preparedness for and response to disasters.

Source: World Health Organisation