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Role of Disaster Management Specialists

Disaster Management

Role of Disaster Management Specialists

Healthcare Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness

Disasters can take any form ranging from infectious disease outbreaks, environmental devastation such as chemical and radiation pollution, technological hazards, urban destruction, societal conflicts and the act of god. These manmade or natural disasters directly impact human health, property and lives breaking down the social system and services. Also, the affected population is often left without proper access to healthcare creating healthcare emergencies. As noticed in the recent past, the scale, frequency and impact of these disasters increased to an undesirable level signifying the need to reinforce the capacity to identify, prepare, respond and recover from such healthcare emergencies and disaster struck. It requires a cumulative effect of professionals from local, state and federal agencies, law and order, rescue and fire agencies, doctors and nurses, private and non-profit organizations and volunteers, all of them led by an efficient emergency and disaster management. 

Considering this scenario, a holistic approach has been adopted wherein emergency medical assistance and disaster response have been mainstreamed and integrated into primary health care policies, services and strategies. Various humanitarian organizations, disaster response agencies, non-governmental organizations, federal agencies, military and volunteer groups take part in disaster management operations. Yet, the lack of healthcare-specific disaster management expertise and competencies is the major hurdle in delivering optimal healthcare during disasters. Hence, various schools and universities are working jointly to develop a list of occupational capabilities in the domain of disaster management and offer professional training to face any catastrophic event.

Core Competencies for Disaster Management

The list of competencies that lay the foundation for efficient disaster management are emergency preparedness, disaster response, patient care and mass casualty management, resource management and disaster risk reduction to front level healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists, with varying levels of proficiency for each of the cadres. The trained professionals find employment in various government and non-governmental organizations, private firms or academia. 

Role of Disaster Management Specialists

The role of disaster management specialists typically include, but not limited to:

  • Coordinating with law enforcement officials, local businesses and inhabitants to seek recommendations and suggestions on emergency response plans
  • Assessing and deploying available resources such as firefighting, police and medical services
  • Proposing government funds for additional resources 
  • Planning evacuation routes
  • Training volunteers and first responders and making them available for the public 
  • Educating the public about the plans
  • Conducting press conferences to advice the public 
  • Evaluating and reporting the damage 

Online course in Disaster Management at James Lind Institute

James Lind Institute, Switzerland offers a master’s degree in public health management for entrants and professionals with specialization in disaster management. This globally accredited dual master’s degree program – Master of Science in Public Health Management (MPH) – disaster management is conducted in collaboration with International Telematic University, UNINETTUNO, Italy. This industry-specific training fine-tunes your skills to match the needs of the ever-growing market and help you find opportunities in various public and private healthcare organizations.

This course imparts skills needed to manage all types of disasters that involve human tragedy. This program essentially consists of modules on emergency management, disaster preparedness and mitigation, disaster health practice and humanitarian relief, psychological effects of the disaster, incident management, post-traumatic stress disorder, disaster recovery, health security and biological warfare, risk management, pandemics and epidemics, communication in disaster management and natural disasters. This is an online course with a duration of 1.5 years

The eligibility criterion to register in this course is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any health or life science discipline. For more details on this program as course structure, tuition fee, mode of assessment, careers and outcomes please visit our official website

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