|14th National Public Health and Emergency Management in Asia-Pacific|
|Author: Omar Lopez Damoslog|
The Training on “Public Health and Emergency Management in Asia – Pacific” (PHEMAP) was conceptualized in 2001 after analysis of situations and experiences in the past showed that the many courses offered around the world focused more on training people as individuals and considered more appropriate to staff of UN agencies and international NGO’s. There were no international courses designed specifically for public health policy – makers with topics on management, administration, organization and decision – making. The focus was mainly on technical and practical skills.
Based on these, the Department of Health – Health Emergency Management Staff (DOH-HEMS) and the University of the Philippines – College of Public Health (UP-CPH) organized the PHEMAP as a comprehensive training program customized for DOH and public health institutions that are responsible for providing a comprehensive response to an emergency. This course should be adapted at all levels of the Department to address actual problems in times of disasters and mass casualty incidents.
The 14th PHEMAP training was held at Bayview Park Hotel, Manila on May 20 – 31, 2013. The primary aim was to promote emergency preparedness and strengthen the health sector’s capability to respond to disasters, calamities, and other emergencies.
The two – week training course was attended by 57 public health professionals from national and provincial levels in various parts of the country as well as officers of some major hospitals.
We were three DOH representatives from Center for Health Development -1 that attended; namely; Dr. Sherwin Albino from Ilocos Norte, Mr. Jaime Javillonar from Ilocos Sur and myself, a DOH representative from La Union.
The training enhanced our capacity in managing health emergency events and developed our skills in disaster preparedness. As public health workers, we perceived the course very relevant as we were taught to be involved in formulating and updating national policies and strategies for health emergency management towards being able to make a comprehensive Health Emergency Preparedness Response and Recovery (HEPRR) Plan.
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