I’m in Monrovia, Liberia on a procurement trip to buy materials needed for our work in the south of the country. I was here one year ago when things were very different. The Ebola outbreak was just beginning to take hold and every day brought more and more patients until our Ebola Management Centres were overflowing and we were forced to build increasingly larger facilities to accommodate the sick. We had no idea when the outbreak would be brought under control, or when it would end, and I recall an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.
The search and rescue operation for survivors after the earthquake in Nepal's capital Kathmandu has ended. Many response teams are now being encouraged to venture into the countryside, where humanitarian needs are still extensive. The MSB response team is focusing on supporting the country by, for example, inspecting buildings. The MSB response team will continue working in Nepal as long as the need for support remains. An important task now is to evaluate collapse risks in existing buildings and critical infrastructure.
At the request of the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social welfare and the World Health Organization (WHO) the MSB are executing and planning health and medical work with logistical support in Monrovia. The mission is designed and implemented flexibly so that with knowledge and competence it will be better able to respond to the future needs of the UN and local authorities in West Africa. There has been an intensive effort to recruit and train the personnel who will be the first part of the operation.
For humanitarian aid operations of the type the MSB is now planning in Liberia, it is important that field staff get the training they need.
The field staff on the team to be deployed by the MSB (medical professionals, logistics officers, team leader and administrative officers) will be trained by the Centre for Research on Health Care in Disaster at the Karolinska Institute early next week.
Published: 2013-11-13 kl. 10:29
Along with its partners the MSB has sent equipment and personnel to the Philippines as support for the UN disaster aid operations. The team consists of experts in IT and satellite communications, and also medical and water treatment experts.
The field staff come from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, and Luxembourg. 21 team members in total, eight are from Sweden.
Published: 2013-11-13 kl. 13:37
The MSB is planning two more flights carrying disaster aid for the Philippines. The aircraft are being loaded with medical supplies from Doctors Without Borders, as well as emergency aid in the form of tents and basic hygiene items.
Right now two aircraft are being loaded at Örebro Airport with necessities and equipment for departure this evening. Destination is the island of Cebu in the Philippines.
The cargo includes equipment for the base camps and vehicles, as well as medical supplies from Doctors Without Borders.
Disasters and conflicts can generate large quantities of solid and liquid waste that threaten public health, hinder reconstruction and impact the environment. Disaster waste (DW) can be generated by the actual disaster and later during the response and recovery phases.
Public health risks can arise from: direct contact with waste accumulated in the streets, hazardous wastes such as asbestos, pesticides, oils and solvents, and indirectly from vectors such as flies and rodents, and from postdisaster collapse of unstable structures.