SRINAGAR: J&K is located in a vulnerable seismic zone that is prone to earthquakes and is equally susceptible to flash floods, landslides and avalanches, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) has said. “Thus preparedness of our departments and their integration through central command center is a vital key to swift and prompt response that needs to be generated as a reaction to such events,” it said in a statement.
The DHSK said it has profoundly worked on the subject over the last half a decade in a gradual manner as it is evident that hospitals during disasters or disaster like situations become the first response centers and even shelter for relief and rehabilitative measures.
“Over the years disaster or disaster like situations like 2005 earthquake, Waltengu, summer unrest of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016 resulted in multiple and mass causalities throwing a bigger challenge to health institutions. These events opened a new chapter for the department as they challenged the health care delivery system and sought effective remedial measures.”
The statement said all such experiences on the disaster management has now been finally reproduced in the form of a readily available document by the Directorate Health Services Kashmir and introduced as “Disaster Management Manual” for DHSK, District Hospitals and District headquarters (CMOs) which was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti during the last week of August 2017 and was followed by multiple orientation workshops for all District and Block level officers for effective utilization of the manual.
On the inaugural function, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Baghat, Minister of State for Health & Medical Education, Asiea Naqash, Chief Secretary, J&K, B B Vyas, Principal Secretary to CM, Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary to Government, Health & Medical Education, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Saleem ur Rehman and other Head of Departments and senior officers were present on the occasion.
“This document emphasises and illuminates the necessary guidelines, need of command system, response teams and alternative measures for quick response and immediate relief during disasters that can help us bring in early stabilization in such situations,” the statement said.
“Disaster Management Manual reflects our state of preparedness and builds a platform to design effective, realistic and coordinated planning; it reduces duplication of efforts and increases the overall effectiveness of the coordinated work. It can help in generating mock drills for effective training.”