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

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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.

 

To learn about the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute’s support to the WHO EMT Initiative, please click here.