Laos to improve emergency medical response to natural disasters

VIENTIANE, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- A meeting for Emergency Medical Team Coordination Mechanism for Public Health Response in the Lao capital Vientiane is aimed at improving the skills of emergency medical teams (EMTs) to help save the lives of patients during natural disasters.


Photo: VCG

Deputy Director-General of the Cabinet of Lao Ministry of Health Bounserth Keoprasith said on Tuesday during the opening of the meeting that it is essential that EMTs are equipped with the necessary skills to save lives in an emergency.

The two-day conference is supported by the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The meeting is discussing the development and finalization of an EMT coordination structure and standard operating procedures and other supportive tools for deployment during an emergency. Modifying these for inclusion in national training materials is a key priority activity for 2020, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

Bounserth said the meeting would strengthen EMTs and the skills they learn would save the lives of patients in local communities.

"We hope that this meeting will help to improve the skills of health experts step by step, and have doctors, nurses and other essential staff identified so they can participate and work within an EMT," he said.

The Lao Ministry of Health activated the Emergency Operation Center to provide leadership, coordination and operational support during the response phase following Sanamxay district flooding disaster in 2018. Around 100 medical staff from the central level and additional support from international EMTs were deployed to provide medical care to the affected population, said the report.

An EMT is a group of health professionals and supporting staff aimed to provide direct clinical care to a population affected by disaster or outbreaks and emergencies acting as surge capacity to support the local health system.