Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disaster Surveillance

Disaster, be it the natural or man made ones are mostly preventable or at least predictable. Merapi eruption for example, where the geological expertise able to provide expected data on its condition. Disaster preparedness (and mitigation) is hence should be established as such a system will be very useful at all stages of disaster (go to my previous post on Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Disaster surveillance therefore is needed so any actions are in a good hand of management making sure that how, who, when, and what are involved are all in the correct lines.

Why disaster surveillance is important? You see, effects of disasters are too wide; death, mild to severe injuries, psychosocial and economic effect, famine, and population movement. The potential indirect effects of disaster cause the increase of possible transmission of communicable disease because of the movement of the people into adjacent areas due to destruction dwelling. Overcrowding, lack of water supply, food shortage, and lack of sanitation facilities will lead to disease outbreaks because of the increase of the sensitivity to disease.

 Under normal circumstances, the existing National disease surveillance system serves the following purpose: early warning, situation and trend assessment, and evaluation of the effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention programs.

Keys in Disaster Surveillance: 
Governance & Coordination 

The target is to integrate all resource and activities to become synergistic power, to tackle health problems in emergencies and disaster efficiently and effectively.

Simply put, "governance" means: the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented or not implemented (source: UNESCAP). To this, coordination plays a major role throughout this process.
Coordination are the backbone of the health programs integration in handling disaster which branches into 8 main scopes: basic and specialist health care, nutrition, immunization, reproductive care, vector control, sanitation and environment, health promotion, and logistic aids.

The management requires effective organization, proactive leadership, and critical mindset. Collaboration with government is also important besides having a good human relation. Obviously, interdisciplinary collaborative efforts is indeed very important in the design of disaster surveillance.

In many of my other posts, I'm sure you notice that I've been talking a lot about the importance of coordination. Indeed, I believe that in any action or plan which involves more than a single party truly requires a good coordination to work on.

United we stand, divided we fall!
Reference: "Disaster Surveillance", Guest lecture: Dinkes Propinsi DIY

No comments:

Post a Comment