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Sri Lanka is a country exposed to different kinds of natural hazards. As a direct or indirect effect of these hazards, disasters and emergencies are experienced leading to much human suffering. The foremost concern in any type of disaster/ emergency is to minimize this human suffering where the health sector has a critical role to play. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the heath sector of the country is prepared to respond effectively and efficiently in the event of a disaster.
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Resilient health sector for safer communities
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To contribute towards a safer Sri Lanka through improving health sector functioning in relation to disasters, integrating disaster risk reduction into health sector and empowering communities as supporters on health sector disaster response.
Disaster Preparedness & Response Division has been established in alien with the Disaster management Act No. 13 of 2005.
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Key Areas

Preparedness

The speed and effectiveness of the health services in providing their services to the people affected by disasters, to a large extent, determine the probability of their survival and disaster resilience.
Emergency Management is about managing risks to communities and the environment. It is the core business of Emergency Services but every individual and organisation has a part to play. Emergency Management is about: Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Leaders in organisations need to know their roles and responsibilities in each phase of the emergency management cycle and lead their organisation through them.

Capacity Building

Capacity in the context of disaster preparedness is defined as the sum of capability, resources and relationships aimed at reducing illness, disability and death from risks and at promoting health, safety and security. Therefore, capacity includes not only the physical infrastructure and resources but all other functional elements such as organizational structure, expertise, skills and attitude of the staff and other capabilities for disaster/emergency response.

 

In this respect, health managers need to do a reasonable risk, vulnerability and capacity assessment. They need to identify the activities required to carry out on a priority basis to make the institutions under them safer and able to respond to any disaster of a reasonable magnitude that may expected to occur in the area.
Apart from  capacity building, it is also important to network with other institutions for additional resources, which could be mobilized immediately upon request. This also will improve the effective surge capacity of the institution/organization.

Disaster response

Among the different stakeholders, the health sector plays a key role in any disaster/ emergency situation. Human suffering of all kinds is the foremost concern in disasters. The most important issues that need to be addressed include deaths and injuries due to direct effects of exposure to hazards. In addition, disruption of environment and normal health services, and psychosocial disruptions, due to displacement, livelihoods also needs to be addressed. These effects and resultant human suffering have made disaster management an important aspect in the development/administrative agenda of any community. Further, risk of epidemics such as Dengue and Hepatitis A, and pandemics such as Avian Influenza, Pandemic Influenza, SARS are required to be handled by a process lead by the health sector. Unlike other natural disasters, the health sector has a leading role to play in mitigation and prevention of such disasters.
DPRD acknowledge the supportive role played by the agencies coming under other government ministries, UN agencies, INGOO, NGOO, CBOO, private sector, and other organizations/individuals. Therefore, DPRD will coordinate and carried out the government health services for disaster relief activities with the support of other agencies.
DPRD is having a well-established organizational structure national coordination mechanism to deliver its services. Many other stakeholders such as other government institutions, UN agencies, INGOO, NGOO, CBOO and many private sector organizations are well connected to the DPRD at appropriate points. Disaster response and relief activities too are carried out by different agencies under the Ministry of Health and Provincial Ministries of Health, depending on the nature and the magnitude of the disaster. Current organizational structure has proved to be sufficient in many aspects.
Historically, disaster response has been a predominantly reactive process where activities were carried out with different degrees of planning depending on the circumstances. In addition, with the increasing occurrence of disasters, various organizations including the Ministry of Health developed plans and procedures to overcome. Most of these plans were either institution specific or hazard specific and were implemented more or less in isolation.

Fund for Disaster Response

Due to the resource constrains as well as general regulations on finance management, it is not unusual to face serious difficulties in securing funds for immediate response activities. This is especially true during the first 48 hours or so where communications and transport links too may have disrupted. Even though most of the items could be stored beforehand for use during response, there are many unforeseen needs that require money. In addition money is required for purchasing food and other perishable items, hiring vehicles, equipment and personnel, etc. This need has been identified even at the regional level and it has been included in the WHO/SEARO Benchmarks on Emergency Preparedness and Response. This plan will initiate action to establish a fund for immediate emergency response activities which is a necessity.

Relief activities

Among the different stakeholders, the health sector plays a key role in any disaster/ emergency situation. Human suffering of all kinds is the foremost concern in disasters. The most important issues that need to be addressed include deaths and injuries due to direct effects of exposure to hazards. In addition, disruption of environment and normal health services, and psychosocial disruptions, due to displacement, livelihoods also needs to be addressed. These effects and resultant human suffering have made disaster management an important aspect in the development/administrative agenda of any community. Further, risk of epidemics such as Dengue and Hepatitis A, and pandemics such as Avian Influenza, Pandemic Influenza, SARS are required to be handled by a process lead by the health sector. Unlike other natural disasters, the health sector has a leading role to play in mitigation and prevention of such disasters.
DPRD acknowledge the supportive role played by the agencies coming under other government ministries, UN agencies, INGOO, NGOO, CBOO, private sector, and other organizations/individuals. Therefore, DPRD will coordinate and carried out the government health services for disaster relief activities with the support of other agencies.
DPRD is having a well-established organizational structure national coordination mechanism to deliver its services. Many other stakeholders such as other government institutions, UN agencies, INGOO, NGOO, CBOO and many private sector organizations are well connected to the DPRD at appropriate points. Disaster response and relief activities too are carried out by different agencies under the Ministry of Health and Provincial Ministries of Health, depending on the nature and the magnitude of the disaster. Current organizational structure has proved to be sufficient in many aspects.
Historically, disaster response has been a predominantly reactive process where activities were carried out with different degrees of planning depending on the circumstances. In addition, with the increasing occurrence of disasters, various organizations including the Ministry of Health developed plans and procedures to overcome. Most of these plans were either institution specific or hazard specific and were implemented more or less in isolation.

Training in Disaster Management

With the increasing occurrence of disasters and with opportunities for disaster management activities to expand; many institutions have  initiated training programmes on disaster management. This is true  of the health sector as well. Many higher education institutions of the government sector, private institutions as well as non governmental organizations in the country are conducting training programs on health sector disaster management aiming at different categories of health staff. As the number of training programmes increases, their standards of training need to be monitored. Action will be initiated to standardize the training in health sector disaster preparedness and response as well as for accreditation of training centers.

As a result of the current enthusiasm on capacity building in disaster preparedness, opportunities for specialized training in this field at centers of excellence too are increasing. A coordination mechanism for specialized training in disaster management will be developed under this plan to ensure appropriate persons are trained.

What we do

Contact Us

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+94-11-3071073
+94-11-3092269
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+94-11-2686113
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dprdmoh@gmail.com 
dprd@sltnet.lk
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