Preparing for Disaster – hospital safety index training takes place in Kazakhstan


“Early investments in hospital safety and resilience increase  the chances that  hospitals would function at full capacity during and after emergencies, and therefore saving lives of affected populations. It also prevents the national health system from losing highly skilled personnel, expensive equipment and public trust. The Hospital Safety Index Assessment is an easily applicable and low-cost tool that is used for  guidance and recommendations to the assessed hospitals and the relevant health authorities” says Dr. Ute Enderlein from the WHO Regional Office for Europe,  one of the facilitators of  the hospital safety index training that took place in Astana, Kazakhstan between 19th and 22nd September.  

17 participants from Astana, Almaty, Kyzylorda and Mangistau participated in the training led by 2 WHO experts from the Regional Office of Europe and WHO Headquarters supported by an  international consultant. The training had two theoretical days, one day out to the field to put theory into practice and one day of analysing and report writing.

By determining a hospital’s safety index, countries, decision-makers and hospital managers can assess hospitals' ability to respond to emergencies and disasters, taking into account its environment and the health services network to which they belongs. The evaluation does not replace costly and detailed vulnerability studies; however, it is an important first step towards prioritizing a country’s investments in hospital safety.

Dr. Melita Vujnovic, the WHO Representative in Kazakhstan, said  “this training will have direct impact as later this year, when WHO, will support the Astana-trained national experts in carrying out assessments of 2-3 key hospitals in highly-vulnerable seismic areas in two oblasts of Kazakhstan”.