WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-36

Strengthening emergency preparedness through the WHO emergency medical team mentorship and verification process: experience from Thailand

1 World Health Organization Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India
2 Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand
3 National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Darwin, Australia
4 World Health Organization Country Office for Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dr Kai von Harbou
World Health Organization Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.282993

PMID: 32341219

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The World Health Organization (WHO) emergency medical team (EMT) mentorship and verification process is an important mechanism for providing quality assurance for EMTs that are deployed internationally during medical emergencies. To be recommended for classification, an organization must demonstrate compliance with guiding principles and core standards for international EMTs and all technical standards for their declared type, in accordance with a set of globally agreed minimum standards. A rigorous peer review of a comprehensive documentary evidence package, combined with a 2-day verification site visit by WHO and independent experts, is conducted to assess an EMT’s capacity. Key requirements include having sufficient systems, equipment and procedures in place to ensure an EMT can deploy rapidly, providing clinical care according to internationally accepted standards, being able to be fully self-sufficient for a period of 14 days and being able to fully integrate into the emergency response coordination structure and the health system of the country affected during deployment. Through the WHO mentorship programme, each EMT is provided with a mentor team, which guides and supports it during the preparatory process. The process typically takes around 1 to 2 years to complete. The Thailand EMT is the first team from the WHO South-East Asia Region to successfully complete the WHO mentorship and verification process. The experience of this process in Thailand can serve as an example for other countries in the South-East Asia Region and encourage them to strengthen their emergency preparedness and operational readiness by getting their national EMTs verified.

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