Tag Archives: Disaster

Challenges for Nepal Earthquake Response Continue

Thanks to extensive eye- witness video and the presence of US Search and Rescue teams already on the ground, the second major earthquake in less than three weeks in Nepal briefly brought the nation back into the 24 hour news cycle.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Nepalese people and to the US Marines who perished in the recent helicopter crash during relief operations.

 

Series of Nepal Earthquakes
Series of Nepal Earthquakes

From the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, leaving nearly 8,000 people dead and well over 14,000 injured, and these numbers are expected to rise. See the ReliefWeb Map.  In the aftermath, the U.S. Embassy issued a Travel Warning on May 1, advising against non-essential travel and authorizing departure for Embassy family members. Further, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Traveler’s Health Notice against non-essential travel.

Major issues:

1. Lack of clean water resulting in diarrheal disease.  This will worsen in the next several weeks with the upcoming monsoon season.

“The government is conducting public health messaging to reduce the risk of disease outbreak. Humanitarian aid workers are working to prevent the outbreak of communicable diseases – primarily cholera, dysentery, enteric ailments, typhoid fever, and respiratory infections. They are handing out bottled water and purification tablets and educating on basic hygiene techniques. However, according to the South Asia technical advisor for WaterAid, “We are going to get a cholera outbreak.” Cholera outbreaks globally often begin in rural areas where fresh water access and safe hygienic practices are less common.

The government is conducting public health messaging to reduce the risk of disease outbreak. Humanitarian aid workers are working to prevent the outbreak of communicable diseases – primarily cholera, dysentery, enteric ailments, typhoid fever, and respiratory infections. They are handing out bottled water and purification tablets and educating on basic hygiene techniques. However, according to the South Asia technical advisor for WaterAid, “We are going to get a cholera outbreak.” Cholera outbreaks globally often begin in rural areas where fresh water access and safe hygienic practices are less common. However, there are increasing reports of enteric diseases (diarrhea) in Khokana in the Kathmandu Valley.”

2.  Destruction of infrastructure: Roads are out and the KTM airport is taking a beating with the massive influx of heavy lift planes bringing aid.  The remoteness of Nepal, a key attraction to adventure tourists and expeditions, is also a major challenge in this crisis response.

“A World Health Organization (WHO) rapid assessment on May 1 reported that hospitals in the four most-affected districts (Ramechhap, Nuwakot, Chautara, and Rasuwa) were “completely
destroyed or too badly damaged to function,” and that five major hospitals (Gorkha District Hospital, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Dhading District Hospital, Hetauda District
Hospital, and Alka Hospital in Lalitpur) were “in [urgent] need of further medical supplies.”

 

 

Nepal Earthquake Response

Dr. David Callaway
Director, Division of Operational and Disaster Medicine (ODM)
Director, Disaster Medicine Fellowship
Carolinas Medical Center- Main, Charlotte, NC

 

Amazing-drone-images

On April 25th, 2015 an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck Nepal with the epicenter west of the capital of Kathmandu. Within 12 hours, the Carolinas ODM team was working in coordination with Team Rubicon , the American Nepalese Medical Foundation, The Computer Association of Nepal-USA, and the Nepalese diaspora to provide medical and technical expertise for a rapid response reconnaissance team. Within 24 hours of the event, the Division coordinated the deployment of Dr. Sapana Adhikari, a Nepalese-American Emergency Medicine physician from Charlotte to support Team Rubicon Operation Tenzing (Donate Here).

Efforts are ongoing with an additional team of 3 physicians

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from Carolinas Medical Center deployed today (Drs. Lee Garvey, Nilesh Patel and Terez Malka). The CMC ODM physicians will be working to provide clinical care in the hardest affected areas, serving as physician leaders to coordinate care, and assisting with rapid needs assessments.

Nepal Earthquake Needs

Leaders from the GNPN have put together a real time Hospital Status worksheet that is extremely helpful for donors and responders.

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For some background reading,

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you can check out an interview Dr. Callaway conducted in 2011 on earthquake preparedness with the Global Nepalese Professional Network (GNPN) entitled When the Quake hits Nepal

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of revolutionary technologies and strategies are being deployed in response to the tragic Nepal earthquake.

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See work by Patrick Meier, PhD
Blog: iRevolutions.org
Book: Digital-Humanitarians.com

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Work in Humanitarian Crisis

UAViators

Team GlobalMedic

HaloDrop

Matternet

 

 

Bed Augmentation in Critical Care Project (BACC)

With the aegis of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the United Nations Health Cluster, OMI has been tasked with a unique disaster public health project. The Bed Augmentation in Critical Care Project (BACC) aims to enhance the provision of critical care services to victims of the earthquake as well as seriously ill low income Dominican patients. With a high rate of complications and expected acute exacerbations of the chronically ill disaster victims, critical care services is a fundamental piece to the earthquake health response. As a developing country; the Dominican Republic has highlighted the need for critical care services, where the public health system routinely serves a population of 7.5 million Dominicans (plus an estimated 1 million Haitians) with only 90 fully equipped ICU beds.

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The project plans to equip ICUs in border cities of Jimani and

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Barahona, as well as the near town of Azua (to become a regional trauma referral center). By developing this system in underserved areas it will also allow long term system improvements and strengthen the response to future disaster and MCIs.
The BACC project lead is Dr. Alejandro Baez (OMI Co-Director) and will be working in collaboration with the Dominican Ministry of Health, PAHO and Universidad Iberoamericana (www.unibe.edu.do) as well as Society for Critical Care Medicine. System components include Human Capacity Building, ICU bed equipping and development of a regional triage and transfer program.

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