MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, SWITZERLAND – Deputy Chair of the Muhammadiyah Emergency Medical Team (EMT) dr. Zuhdiyah Nihayati, known as dr. Zee, became a speaker in a session focusing on “Lesson Learned from the EMT Network Disaster Response in the Pandemic” hosted virtually in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday (29/4).
It’s one of the sessions of Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) 2021. Co-chaired by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the HNPW has been annually organized since 2015.
The HNPW offers many humanitarian sessions and engages a number of international humanitarian organizations.
dr. Zee’s session was included in a programme of ‘EMT Day’ involving WHO Emergency Medical Team Initiative responsible for coordinating EMT networks in world. In her session, she delivered her presentation with EMT representatives from Poland and the United Kingdom (UK).
She presented the Muhmmadiyah EMT emergency responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Muhammadiyah EMT performed two disaster responses during this pandemic. First, it’s a one-month response to the earthquake in Mamuju, West Sulawesi. Second, it’s a three-week response to tropical cyclone Seroja which hit East Nusa Tenggara and caused floods and landslides,” she informed.
She, then, explained the Muhammadiyah EMT response procedures during the pandemic. “It wasn’t easy for the Muhammadiyah EMT to respond to national or local disasters in this outbreak. We have a certain standard operating procedure (SOP) to send our team to the disaster-affected areas safely,” she stated.
dr. Zee told that the Muhammadiyah EMT personnel deployed to the areas might not have comorbidities and weren’t in therapy. They’re required to take a COVID-19 tested whose result must be negative and to have a medical report before and after the assignment.
Besides, they’re provided a kit to prevent the COVID-19. “They’re equipped with sufficient masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, personal protective equipment (PPE) of level 1-3, tents, and other facilities. We also prepared personnel for decontamination and a particular SOP of medial and PPE waste management,” she mentioned.
“We strictly applied health protocols for the team and disaster victims during the service. We modified service tents to have adequate ventilation and good air circulation. We also limited the number of escorts of patients and required them to wear a mask. Besides, we conducted daily screening for the team and disinfected the tent,” she reported.
Furthermore, she revealed challenges when coping with multi-hazard disasters, high exposure risk to COVID-19, more complex preparations, necessity to assess all aspects of COVID-19 service aspects. “Nevertheless, the experiences are valuable for the Muhammadiyah EMT to enhance the personnel’s capacity and to improve facility standards, logistical needs, coordination and collaboration with other organizations so that the disaster response can be easier and well-managed. Indeed, the experiences enable the Muhammadiyah team to be more well-organized,” she concluded.