Mangalore Institutions Partner to Discuss India’s Disaster Health
Disaster Health is not commonly a topic for discussion on any platform, and Mainstreaming disaster public health even rare. Center for Health and Development (CHD-India) and International Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR, New Delhi) in collaboration with Alliance for Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (AADRR) and Yenepoya University as Knowledge Partner and Corporation Bank as Banking Partner joined hands to mainstream Disaster Health. The stakeholder meeting was held at IIHMR, New Delhi yesterday.
The stakeholder meeting was well received and representatives from UNICEF, Government of India and Civil Society organizations like Help Age India, SEEDS India, Action Aid and other related networks came together to decode the global frameworks of the Sendai Report, Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals laid down by the United Nations. Dr Edmond Fernandes, CEO, Center for Health and Development (CHD-India) said in his opening remarks “Indian families are living in a healthcare system that costs more, delivers less and during disasters, they bankrupt families leading to disproportionate socio-economic loss which often leads to psycho-social trauma. We will have to engage in tough diplomacy and shrewed advocacy to make decisions that will set the course for the next decade, if not the entire century. New delhi hasn’t delivered a mechanism that protects families and safeguards communities with regard to ensuring their health needs during disasters and also otherwise. With pro-poor spending on GDP on public health, we need to re-discover ourselves as stakeholders in this arena. Every single district, state and central response machinery should prepare a public health disaster plan, which covers essential medical services, which incorporates curative, preventive, maternity and mental health needs comprehensively. Disaster Health literacy should be prioritized.
Harjeet Singh, Chair, AADRR, New Delhi said, “Focus must be given on Section V of the Sendai Framework and climate change adaptation should be taught. Scenario based action plan has been missing and that needs to be created.
Dr Manu Gupta, Chair, Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network highlighted that village level resilience plan needs to be created and primary health care centers can be the starting point for the same. He mentioned that there is lack of heavy research on disaster engineering and engineering are unable to retrofit systems efficiently. He stressed upon the need to create resilient communities.”
Stakeholders commonly agreed that present medical education has not focused on disaster risk reduction and disaster health at all. There is paucity of data in public health disaster research and quality of life is compromised due to lack of mainstreaming disaster health. The deliberations also concluded that there is severe lack of ownership during any natural and man-made disaster and the blame is passed onto others. The in-depth proceedings of the stakeholder meeting will be prepared and released after some weeks. Dr A K Khokhar, Director, IIHMR, Dr Agarwal, Dean, IIHMR were present.