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Global Emergency Medical Teams (EMT)

Global Emergency Medical Teams (EMT)

We support the World Health Organisation Emergency Medical Teams Initiative through our research and training development project.

Global Emergency Medical Teams (EMT)

The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Initiative

After the Haiti earthquake in Jan 2010, the WHO Pan America Health Organisation (PAHO) and partners convened the first meeting on Emergency Medical Team ("Foreign Medical Teams" at that time) in Cuba to discuss the Haiti response and concluded the need to set standards and a coordination mechanism for EMT. That was the start of the initiative.


In 2013, WHO issued the Classification and Minimum Standards for Emergency Medical Teams (the “Blue Book”) in sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. These guidelines outline principles and set forth core standards for how registered EMTs must function. The "Blue Book" was used for Typhoon Haiyan operation in 2013 for the first time. Since 2016, the WHO has been registering and verifying qualified EMTs. According to the WHO, over 70 EMTs from over 30 countries have since registered and is in the progress of documentary review from the WHO secretariat with nearly 20 EMTs successfully classified.


For more detailed timeline of the development of the WHO EMT Initiative, please head to the WHO EMT Initiative Historical Timeline. For more information on the WHO EMT Initiative, please head to the WHO EMT Initiative Extranet.


“Training and Research Development for Emergency Medical Teams with Reference to the WHO Global Emergency Medical Teams Initiative and the WHO Classification and Standards”

Since Feb 2016, HKJCDPRI has been supporting the WHO EMT Initiative in its development. In Sept 2016, HKJCDPRI officially signed a collaborative agreement with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute of the University of Manchester to further develop trainings and research agenda in support of the WHO EMT Initiative.


The project aims to develop training and capacity building programmes that are in accordance with the WHO minimum standards, and through identification of best practice and development of standard field operating procedures in interactive and stimulating brainstorming to professionalize EMTs. The project has since delivered a series of trainings, including workshops and exchange tours for EMTs and those interested in the development of EMTs.


In collaboration with the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, Department of Health and Hospital Authority, HKJCDPRI organised a workshop titled "Mobile Surge Capacity Teams for Medical and Public Health Emergencies" on 7 October 2016.  The workshop aimed to provide healthcare professionals with knowledge and to share experience on mobile surge team planning for medical and public health emergencies. The workshop examined the current practices of mobile medical team mobilisation internationally and locally. Topics discussed included:   - Understanding Surge Capacity and Mobile Surge Capacity - Sharing of Current Practices in Hong Kong and United Kingdom - Staffing Strategies
The first of a series of Emergency Medical Team (EMT) trainings in China was successfully held on the 5 – 8 September 2016 in Fuzhou, Fujian. The training was led and organized by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (NHFPC) and national experts, and was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Representatives from the University of Manchester (UoM) and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI) supported the training by developing course material and facilitating the delivery of the training. Amongst attendance were the 37 Chinese national EMTs, some of which were already WHO officially classified (i.e. Shanghai East Hospital), and some are pending classification.  
On 3-4 June 2016, Ms Eva Lam, Director of Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI), also a member of the HKJCDPRI Working Group on World Health Organization (WHO) Global Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Initiative attended the 2-day WHO Global EMT Mentorship Meeting held in Tokyo, Japan. The meeting brought together existing EMT Lead Mentors and potential mentors to discuss developments within the programme, including updates on the WHO Global EMT classification criteria. Future development on the WHO EMT classification process and resources planning were also deliberated.  
(The link to the abstract is under "To Know More" on the right) Volume 32, Issue S1 (Abstracts of Scientific Papers-WADEM Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2017) Anisa J.N. Jafar1, Chrissy Alcock2, Rachel Fletcher2, Thomas C. Hughes3, Brigid Hayden2, Philip Gaffney4, John Simpson2 and Anthony Redmond1 1 University Of Manchester, HCRI, Manchester/United Kingdom2 UK Med, Manchester/United Kingdom3 Emergency Department, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford/United Kingdom4 Xenplate, Cambridge/United Kingdom  


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