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Tool launched to assess city’s disaster response capacity

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An assessment tool to measure a city’s preparedness for handling mass emergency situations was launched in an international online event. The tool is based on data collected in Karachi, Pakistan; Port Harcourt, Nigeria; and Fortaleza, Brazil.

The initiative is part of a collaborative project between Jinnah Sindh Medical University’s APPNA Institute of Public Health (AIPH-JSMU), Johns Hopkins University, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The CAMERA (City’s Assessment for Mass Casualty Emergency Response) tool is a questionnaire to assess the domains of Emergency Medical response system that will help various relevant organizations of Karachi to measure and score their capabilities to deal with the mass casualty incidents.

The panel of speakers discussed their experiences and implementation challenges in their respective settings.

In Karachi, Pakistan the project is managed by Jinnah Sindh Medical University’s APPNA Institute of Public Health (AIPH-JSMU) whose Chairperson Professor Lubna Ansari Baig said ‘The managerial and clinical gaps identified by the CAMERA tool should be effectively used for evidence-informed practices and policies.

The development of this CAMERA tool is a break-through which can empower the policy makers to identify problems, carryout interventions and measure their impact,’ she added addressing the online launch event.

The Vice-Chancellor Professor Syed Muhammad Tariq Rafi appreciated the efforts by AIPH-JSMU, saying that the pace of development in the project is impressive.

‘This tool should help city leaders asses their performance and guide future preparedness efforts,’ he added, explaining that JSMU’s research goals are closely aligned with the province’s requirements in the healthcare sector.

Multiple workshops, activities and drills, awareness webinars have been conducted as a part of the project including workshops and assessment meetings at the Commissioner’s Office. An Emergency Preparedness Drill was also held in 2019 in the YMCA ground, to assess Karachi’s capability for handling a disaster.

The online launch for CAMERA tool was moderated by Maciek Polkowski, Head of the Health Care in Danger initiative at ICRC.

The speakers for the launch event were Professor Lubna Ansari Baig, Chairperson AIPH-JSMU; Prof. Rogério Giesta, Universidade Federal do Cearà, Brazil; Dr. Richard Echem, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nigeria while Dr. Micaela Serafini, Head of the Health Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) opened the event.

Professor Junaid Abdul Razzak, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Center for Global Emergency Care, John Hopkins University demonstrated the information regarding the CAMERA tool, ‘You cannot manage what you cannot measure’, he stressed.

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