The Regional Coordination Meeting in of ARCH (The Project for Strengthening the ASEAN Regional Capacity on Disaster Health Management in cooperation between National Institute for Emergency Medicine ( NIEM) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was organized a forum on this occasion to enhance regional cooperation in disaster management. There are members from 10 countries in ASEAN; Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand participating in this meeting.
Mr. Phumin Silapunt, M.D., the Deputy Secretary General of NIEM, reported that this meeting was a continuation of the MOU among 10 ASEAN countries last February to agree upon the preparation of the disaster management and regional public health drafts. In addition, the implementation of a database of medical assistance teams (DMAT) member countries and a network assessment system to analyze a medical and public health needs in effected area. Moreover, a disaster prevention exercise, an Emergency and Disaster Medicine system training will be provided to member countries. Lastly, there will be a meeting of the 10 ASEAN member countries and Japan to practice a disaster plan together at least once a year.
Mr. Phumin Silapunt said that the goal for this project is
1) To collaborate to create a Coordination in Disaster Management and Response system
2) To set a guideline of where and how to get assistance and distribute information to other ASEAN countries.
3) To standardize quality of personnel, equipment, procedure to go in the same direction.
4) To create a network of Academic Emergency Medicine and Disaster, that benefits a system development and gain new knowledgeable ideas from scholars from 10 different countries in ASEAN.
5) To provide training to maximize a potential of emergency medicine of each country.
NIEM has initially played a part of coordinating at international level. Still, it is challenging to accomplish this project that requires cooperation from various sectors domestically, such as MOPH, Red Cross, academic institutions that includes Society of Thai Emergency Physicians and training institutions to jointly educate and provide training in the member countries and build a leadership for Thailand. More importantly, the work relationship among various department will strengthen a relationship among the member countries both in peace time and an emergency and disaster.