WHO supports emergency preparedness in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Red Cross/Vaska Cvetanoska

WHO/Europe and the Country Office in Skopje are working closely with health authorities in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to strengthen the hospitals preparedness for crisis situations.

A simulation exercise to test the emergency preparedness of the Clinical Hospital in Shtip and the Health House in Shtip and to provide recommendations on the current state of the hospital’s emergency response plan took place on 25 November 2011.

A series of preparatory meetings, held prior the exercise, gave the participants an overview of the simulation exercise and highlighted relevant information on expected casualties, trigger indicators for activating the emergency response plan, triage and patient traffic flow, and the responsibilities of hospital and Emergency Medical Services staff.

Key stakeholders in the area of crisis preparedness participated, including: the Red Cross, the Crisis Management Centre (CMC), the Ministry of the Interior, fire-rescue units, and the Ministry of Defense. The exercise allowed officials to identify the strengths of the current hospital plan, including strong command leadership, committed and qualified staff, and the effective management of incoming patients. In addition, it exposed potential gaps in the system and identified potential problems in the current plan, which were outlined in greater detail in a technical feedback report.

WHO and Ministry of Health officials in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will continue to work with the national counterparts to further test and upgrade the hospital continuity preparedness plans, to ensure that emergency medical services and hospitals will be ready to meet increased service demands during crisis situations.

The simulation exercise was organized as part of the regular  WHO country activities in the area of disaster preparedness and response with the Ministry of Health as well as the project “Protecting Health from climate change, A seven country initiative”, supported by the government of Germany.