ODPEM Training Health Workers in Disaster Risk Management

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Senior Development Officer at the Canadian High Commission, Walric Peddie (right), has the attention of (from left) Pan American Health Organization (PAHO Consultant, Dr. Kam Mung; Acting Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie; Technical Advisor, PAHO, Dr. Taraleen Malcolm; and Consultant, PAHO, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse. Occasion was the opening of the Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) training session on February 21 at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) headquarters in Kingston. The initiative seeks to strengthen the response of the health sector to natural disasters and emergencies.

Story Highlights

  • Three hundred health workers are to receive Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) training in order to strengthen the capacity of the country’s health sector to respond to natural disasters and emergencies.
  • A total of 150 healthcare workers across the four Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) will be equipped in EOC management, and another 150 in Mass Casualty Management and Incident Command Systems, Logistics Supply Systems and Post Disaster Assessment.
  • Acting Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie, who brought greetings at the opening ceremony, thanked the various entities involved in organising the training.

Three hundred health workers are to receive Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) training in order to strengthen the capacity of the country’s health sector to respond to natural disasters and emergencies.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is undertaking the training under the Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Programme (Health Sector), which is being facilitated by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). It is being conducted through funding from the Canadian Government.

A total of 150 healthcare workers across the four Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) will be equipped in EOC management, and another 150 in Mass Casualty Management and Incident Command Systems, Logistics Supply Systems and Post Disaster Assessment.

The second in the series of four training sessions got under way on February 21 at the ODPEM in Kingston and was attended by 42 health officials from parish health departments, hospitals and health centres across the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).

Acting Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie, who brought greetings at the opening ceremony, thanked the various entities involved in organising the training.

She said disaster management and risk reduction are priority areas of the Ministry.

“This effort will strengthen our capacity to manage all phases of disasters and reduce the impact on the country’s health services. The Ministry of Health is thankful for these interventions and looks forward to continued support in this area from the Government of Canada and PAHO,” she said.

Senior Development Officer at the Canadian High Commission, Walric Peddie said his Government is committed to assisting in strengthening regional response to disasters.

“With this project, we can expect to see an increase in the use of disaster-management material and tools in the health sector, increased safety and environmental performance of healthcare facilities and increased capacity of health institutions to manage and reduce risk of morbidity and mortality, following any type of major disaster,” he noted.

The first training session was held in December 2016 and involved staff from the Ministry of Health’s head office, with the remaining two sessions slated to take place in March.

A minimum of 1,000 healthcare workers across the Caribbean region will be trained in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management under the programme.

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