4.2.20 Disaster Preparedness and Response

Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, operating in disaster-prone areas within India

EHA’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is constantly assessing the COVID situation in India and working on their Emergency Response, Rehabilitation, and Preparedness Plan. Both EHA hospital teams and project teams have been actively engaged in creating awareness, teaching infection prevention in local communities, communicating about risk, and keeping surveillance ever since WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Most EHA hospitals have been conducting mock drills, walking through how to handle a suspected patient from point of entry to treatment in an isolation ward until discharge.

There are many potential factors for DMMU to address. Due to the nationwide lockdown, there are reports of many migrant workers, landless laborers, homeless people, and very poor families who are struggling with their daily food needs. Trauma and stigma are going to be major issues faced by the COVID-19 patients and their families. Livelihood issues will be another upcoming challenge, and DMMU will need to plan for rehabilitation after the pandemic is over.

The DMMU team is working on their Emergency Response, Rehabilitation, and Preparedness Plan in close coordination with local communities and various other agencies.

~ Mr. Shem Raomai, Head of DMMU

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