Health sector’s post-quake response under review

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Authorities hope to use the results to determine ways to deal with future disasters effectively

Jan 15, 2016-The Nepal Health Research Council has started reviewing the response and roles played by the Health Ministry and other health agencies in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake. 

The council said it was currently analysing the data collected from all 14 earthquake-affected districts.

Dr Khem Karki, member secretary of the council, said the research is primarily focused on service delivery and the way the Health Ministry coordinated with other agencies to respond to the disaster. Deployment of foreign medical teams and their effectiveness are also being studied, Dr Karki added. 

“Our main purpose is to document the entire response to figure out the areas that need improvement,” he said. “We hope the findings will help us deal with disasters in future more effectively.”

The council is also studying the coordination between the Health Emergency Operation Centre and district hospitals. This, the council said, could help strengthen the local health institutions and their disaster coping mechanisms.

The council researchers are also looking into the cases of disabilities, including the number of amputees and persons with spinal cord injury, which is expected to help in allocating resources to vulnerable populations.

 A rough estimation puts the number of amputees at 40 while 100 persons suffered from spinal-cord injury. 

A month after the earthquake, the government had set-up various rehabilitation centres in Kathmandu, Kavre and Kaski, among other districts. While a majority of the severely injured brought to the Kathmandu-based rehabilitation centres have been 

discharged, many persons suffering with spinal injury are still undergoing rehabilitation in the Kavre-based centre.

“This will help Health Ministry and other line agencies on rehabilitation plan of the disabled persons and help in enhancing their skills,” said Dr Krishna Arya, research officer at the council. 

The report is expected to be finalised within one month.

Published: 15-01-2016 09:18

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