The 5th Global EMT Meeting presents new approaches to respond more quickly and effectively to crises, including natural disasters, epidemics and conflicts.
Yerevan, Armenia, October 5, 2022: At a time of growing global health emergencies, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related crises to the protracted war in Ukraine, more than 500 participants from the Teams Network Emergency Medical Services (EMT) across WHO’s six regions are in Yerevan, Armenia, for the 5th Global EMT Meeting this week.
The three-day meeting offers participants from more than 110 countries – including paramedics, technical experts and international partners from various organizations – the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from responding to multiple emergencies, including innovative approaches life-saving and to discuss how to further strengthen the WHO-supported EMT initiative in the future.
“Armenia is pleased to host this week’s meeting, especially given our experiences with multiple emergencies over the past decades, from the devastating 1988 earthquake that claimed up to 25,000 lives in the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh and the recent escalation that targeted the colonies of the Republic of Armenia, causing further loss of life,” noted Anahit Avanesyan, Minister of Health of Armenia. “For us, paramedics are an essential extension of the wider health ecosystem, and we are grateful to WHO and all our health and development partners for sharing their expertise and creating a platform for regional collaboration and global, helping us to learn from others and also share our experiences.”
EMT 2030 Strategy: High Impact Investment in Emergency Preparedness
The 5th Global EMT Meeting is a milestone as it launches the EMT 2030 Strategy – the blueprint for the next eight years to continue to develop a network of effective and efficient national, sub-national and regional EMTs in accordance with the EMT classification of the WHO and minimum standards. Network participants will contribute to the future development of the EMT initiative which aims to prioritize and build the capacity of local teams to respond to emergencies and strengthen the network to provide support when needed in various contexts.
“As we build a new and stronger architecture for health emergency preparedness and response, a rapidly deployable global health emergency corps will be vital, drawing on the experience and capabilities of emergency medical teams “, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, in his opening address to the meeting. “The EMT 2030 Strategy envisions a world in which every country has the capacity to respond quickly and effectively to national emergencies, leveraging regional and sub-regional capacities to support vulnerable communities and others in need.”
Lessons from COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now in its third year, has created a particularly challenging environment for emergency response in many countries, increasing the demand for specialist infection prevention and control skills and case management of severe respiratory infections. In response to this, the EMT Network has deployed nearly 200 international EMTs to support the response in 67 countries, highlighting the role of specialist care teams who both support a country’s response while building national capacity.
“The pandemic has truly revealed the importance of building health emergency response capacities in countries, including a highly skilled workforce and access to essential technologies and equipment.said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “But the crisis has also highlighted the benefits of collaboration between paramedics and other operational response arms of WHO, such as the rapid response mobile laboratories of the Global Alert and Response Network in outbreak cases, which extended the ability of paramedics to diagnose cases more quickly, leading to faster treatment and care. Bringing paramedics and mobile labs closer together is also proving very effective in the context of humanitarian crises, making the health response more effective in areas where health facilities and systems have been compromised, as well as when countries are hosting a significant number of refugees with multiple emergency health care. Needs.”
About the EMT Initiative: A Growing Network
Paramedics are groups of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, support workers, and logisticians, who provide care to patients affected by an emergency.
The EMT initiative was created after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, rapidly growing into a large network of qualified medical teams, trained and prepared to provide immediate support in the event of an emergency. So far, 37 international teams have already been classified by WHO, and nearly 100 more are currently being classified to meet the highest standards of emergency medical assistance.
In the event of an emergency, the EMT network is mobilized as part of the national response – treating patients, training and supervising emergency care providers, strengthening coordination between the different pillars of the emergency medical response and adherence to guiding principles and standards to ensure quality of care. care.
Learn more about the EMT initiative:
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