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PA 11-7-1391 Learning from 2015 nepal earthquake: implication for injury prevention, trauma care and disability rehabilitation
  1. Kamaraj Devapitchai1,
  2. Reuben Samuel2
  1. 1Consultant, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. 2World Health Organisation Country Office, Nepal


Background The Himalayan nation of Nepal lies in the seismic fault line with greater risks of earthquakes and other recurrent hazards like landslide, fire, drought, epidemic, storm, hailstorm, avalanches and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods. Nepal with the help of national and international partners had taken several disaster preparedness measures prior to the earthquake in 2015 which alone killed nearly nine thousand people, more than 22 000 injured, and caused economic loss equivalent to seven billion dollars. This article summarizes the efforts taken by the injury rehabilitation sub cluster (IRSC) to effectively manage the available internal capacity and coordinate the efforts of multilateral humanitarian aid agencies including foreign medical teams.

Method Data from the Ministry of Health, situation reports, IRSC meeting minutes and partner reports were reviewed for analysis.

Results The main purpose of the IRSC was to map current needs and capabilities, coordinate response activities and referrals, and to share information amongst multiple stakeholders. It enabled timely and adequate response resulting in preventing and minimizing disability. Implication for Injury prevention, trauma care and disability rehabilitation: 1) Develop and implement standardized disaster preparedness planning and response protocols including step-down rehabilitation facilities and stockpiling of assistive devices 2) Stakeholder mapping at different levels – region, province and local communities 3) Injury-related and disability-disaggregated data included in data collection and reporting 4) Establish trauma care systems, accessible environment and services, integrated disability management and advocate ‘Rehabilitation in Health Systems’ WHO (2017) 5) Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) should be a necessary component in emergency rehabilitation. 6) Policy and programme advocacy for disability inclusion in disability risk reduction (DRR).

Conclusion Health systems strengthening (Build-Back-Better) in injury prevention, trauma care and rehabilitation can impact both large-scale disasters and routine injuries. Integrated disability management can cover other disabilities due to neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, pediatric and geriatric care.

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