PHEMAP - 2 Brochure

A programme of course in Public Health and
Emergency Management in Asia and the Pacific (PHEMAP)


   In 2001, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in Thailand was approached by the Regional Offices of WHO for South East Asia (SEARO)and the Western Pacific (WPRO) to organise and deliver a course on public health and emergencies for member states of the two regions. Following a series of meetings, a contract was signed with the donor, Japan International Cooperation for Welfare Services (JICWELS) and the first course was delivered in March 2002.

   The title of the programme is Public Health and Emergency Management in Asia and the Pacific (PHEMAP). Within this framework, courses will be offered at international level for senior MOH staff, supported by JICWELS, and at national level for local MOH staff, with funds from other sources.

Justification for the audience of the training programme

   There are many courses around the world offering training in emergencies and public health. However, they tend to be focussed on training people as individuals and are most relevant to staff of UN agencies and international NGO. The majority of courses deal only with issues related to the care of refugees in complex emergency situations, such as Bosnia and Rwanda. There is no international course which deals with trauma management in the context of natural disasters. There are no international courses designed specifically for government policy makers; all currently available courses focus on technical and practical skills.

   Based on these observations, the organisers of PHEMAP identified a need for a comprehensive training programme for Ministries of Health as institutions responsible for providing a comprehensive and coherent response to an emergency. The PHEMAP courses are adapted to all levels of a Ministry (from National Directors to District Medical Officers) and will cover the problems that Ministries actually face i.e. trauma and public health issues in natural disasters and mass accidents. These issues are covered from policy, management, organisational and technical perspectives.

Justification for the content of programme

  This training programme was designed by looking at needs and designing courses using evidence-based criteria. The workload from major emergencies and disasters facing the region is: (base on data from CRED)
82% of disaster events in Asia and Pacific are caused by just 4 hazards: mass accidents (37%), floods (18%), storms (19%) and earthquakes (8%);
  PHEMAP response – focus on these hazards only, as other courses are available covering complex emergencies, and other hazards cause relatively few casualties in the region;
floods are significantly associated with extended periods of excess morbidity from communicable diseases while storms and earthquakes cause displacement of large populations into temporary shelters for long periods, which causes significant public health risks;
  PHEMAP response – focus on meeting long-term post-disaster public health needs and the public health needs of displaced peoples;
95% of morbidity and mortality in the first week after a disaster is due to trauma;
PHEMAP response – policies and guidelines for mass casualty management and hospital planning are needed at national level;
72% of disasters in the Region involve less than 50 trauma victims (deaths plus injuries);
PHEMAP response – mass casualty management organisational capacity is needed at provincial level;
60% of these trauma victims need only simple first aid or primary medical care, while 95% of disaster deaths occur before the victim reaches a hospital;
• PHEMAP response – pre-hospital knowledge and skills and hospital planning are needed at the local level to save lives;
   The PHEMAP programme will offer customised courses targeted to the needs of the different levels of health sector managers, from national (policy and guidelines) to provincial (programme man-agement) and local (implementation) levels, as well as directors of relevant institutions such as major hospitals and academic institutes (training and education).


The courses will be relevant to senior health professionals such as national and provincial MOH officers, health sector emergency managers, hospital directors, teaching staff from academic institutions, designated WHO programme focal points and other relevant health professionals. Ideally, participants should be involved in formulating and/or updating national policies and strategies for emergency health management, or in national training and educational programmes, as part of their normal duties.

Target Countries

The target countries are Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea (countries covered by WHO/WPRO) and Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka (countries covered by WHO/SEARO. Japan will send six participants to each course. It is expected that a country will send two participants each. There will not more than 30 participants attending each course

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© PHEMAP 2002