دانشگاه علوم پزشکی ایران
Iran University of Medical Sciences

Introducing the group

 | Post date: 2018/11/28 | 
Risk management and reduction in disasters have always been a challenging issue in Iran’s healthcare system. Given the major achievements and valuable actions taken in disasters such as Bam earthquake, Gonu Cyclone, etc. and extensive efforts to build infrastructures in accordance with strategic documents such as the Hyogo Framework, which was designed for better disaster management and risk reduction at international level, as well as Iran’s upstream documents, such as the statute of Crisis Management and Passive Defense organizations, the Fifth Plan of Social, Cultural, and Economic Development of Iran, and Iran’s 20-Year Vision Plan, Islamic Republic of Iran must possess the most developed healthcare system for disasters and emergencies and the lowest level of risk against natural and human-made hazards in the region.
According to the Global Disaster Reduction Report, Iran ranks 8th out of 10 in terms of natural disasters and earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, and storms are at the top of the list of natural disasters that the country is faced with. Annual deaths causing from natural hazards are estimated to be about three to four thousand people on average.
Among human-made hazards, plane crashes, explosions or train runaways, industrial accidents, air pollution, and nuclear technology require serious attention.
Given the aforementioned points, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, has developed disaster risk management and reduction groups in healthcare departments of medical universities, tasking them with preparing and responding to natural and human-made hazards and reducing risks they pose on the society. Moreover, it has provided health resources and facilities with the objectives of promoting preparedness and reducing vulnerability of Iranian households to disasters. The main strategies of these groups include proactive, all-hazard, whole-health, and extensive approaches, stressing the intensive hazards and enhancing the capacity of health human resources through implementation of training programs and operational exercises, as well as development of intra- and inter-sectoral collaborations. These groups are to take necessary measures to prevent and reduce damages to resources and facilities during disasters and accidents in coordination with Emergency Services Center in the form of health taskforce processes for unexpected accidents and specialized committees of health, treatment, support, research, and training. These measures are to be taken through integrated management programs for disaster risk reduction in the network system, Disaster Occurrence and Damage Surveillance system, disaster risk assessment in health facilities, the National Health Response System for Disasters and Emergencies, Disaster and Accident Recovery System, immunization of health facilities, coordination of operations, strengthening of the Disaster Response Support system, and development of geoinformatics infrastructures.
Disaster risk reduction is one of the pillars of sustainable development. Around 250 natural disasters affect the lives of one and a half million people annually with the poor, disabled, elderly, pregnant women, and children being the most vulnerable groups. Moreover, urban development has led many rural citizens to settle at suburban areas of large cities, namely, areas that lack necessary strength and preparedness for disasters. Since the principles of disaster risk management have not been properly observed in the development of Iranian cities, Iranian households’ preparedness for disasters is an average nine and a half percent. Considering all these points and due to serious weaknesses in support, communication, information management, and coordination (specially outreaching) functions, as well as lack of modern geoinformatics technologies disaster risk management and reduction should be strengthen and developed in the field of healthcare.

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