COPING WITH NATURAL DISASTERS: THE ROLE OF LOCAL HEALTH PERSONNEL AND THE COMMUNITY
( By A Working Guide (WHO - OMS, 1989) )

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Chapter 5. Action by the community Analysis of past experience

If the area has already been the scene of disasters, any activity concerned with the disaster-preparedness of the community and the local health personnel must take analysis of past experience as its point of departure. Questions should be asked such as the following:


What caused the victims and the damage?
What were the main difficulties in the relief work?
What were the problems in the subsequent hours and days?
Would it have been possible to foresee the disaster?
What preparedness would have limited the number of victims and the damage?
What errors were made which must not be repeated?
What actions did the most good?

As concerns the local health personnel in particular, it may be asked, for example:


What types of emergency case occurred and what was it possible to do for them?
What problems were encountered in the reception of the injured?
What supplies were lacking?
What difficulties arose in sending the injured to properly equipped hospitals?
Would it have been possible to obtain better cooperation from the volunteers?
What were the difficulties of coordination with the authorities and the other community groups?
How would it have been possible to obtain more effective outside assistance?
What health problems arose after the disaster and what were the difficulties in coping with them?
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