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2010 EMS-Disaster Conference

Conference Objectives:

a.       Inter-agency conference discussing prevention, response to disasters with the goal of sharing experiences so that high level response will be successful in case of a disaster.

b.      Discuss solutions; create procedures, protocols for cooperation among the agencies with regards to preventing and responding to disasters.

Dates: March 24, 2010

Location: Hue City, Vietnam

Audience: All leaders of Thua Thien Hue Department of Health and EMS System, Hospitals, Red Cross, Traffic Safety, Farmer's Union, Labor Union, Security Police, Youth Association, Women's Union Representatives.  Total attendees is 100.

Program Design: Thua Thien Hue Provincial Department of Health


Thua Thien Hue is a province along the coast of Central Vietnam with an area of 5,053.99 Km2, population 1,137,962.  There are 9 counties (including 2 mountain counties), 1 main city, 152 districts. The province is located on the main North-South corridor with all types of transportations: highways, railways, sea and river fairways with especially dangerous locales very easily isolated, cut off during heavy rain and flooding at mountain, low lying and near sea counties.  The province is a center of heritage, tourism, training…for the entire country therefore each year there is a large population tourist, students, college students living here.

Natural disasters are one of the major concerns not only to the medical community but many other agencies in our society.  Tragedies not only bring sorrows to many families, individuals but leave a heavy burden for society with the residual effect of trauma such as disabilities, loss of man power….pushing back advancement and cause new developments to be unstable.

Each year there are 3-5 floods, disasters with 12,000 people living in low lying areas having to move therefore preparing and preventing the effect of flooding must be better developed in treating victims and preventing spread of infectious diseases afterward.  Traffic accidents although is on the decline, there are still many horrific accidents requiring immediate rescue waves.  In the recent past, Thua Thien Hue had responded to the sinking of the E1 ship in March 2005 with cooperation of political divisions of the province. The department of health had to mobilize the entire medical staff, all available means of transportation, coordinating with Hue Central Hospital, Military Hospitals, local specialty hospitals and the City of Da Nang Department of Health.  The Thua Thien Department of Health also lead disaster response drills involving the military, police for search and rescue missions in the high sea, traffic accidents and in response to SARS.

The basic medical infrastructure of the Thua Thien province is considered adequate with availability of provincial hospital, specialty hospital, 9 County medical centers and 152 hamlet clinics each staffed by physicians.  The Prehospital Emergency Care System has been developed with a Center for EMS 115 and 9 ambulance transport units at 9 counties with early successes in responding to traffic collisions and multiple accidents….However this system has just started at the provincial and county levels. In the near future emergency care will be developed at regional medical centers down to the hamlets with special attentions to those hamlets situated on major thoroughfares.   Alongside with those facilities, the Thua Thien Hue Province has the support of Hue Central Hospital, Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital, Military Hospital 268 and other local hospitals.

Thua Thien Hue is one of the four economically important provinces in Central Vietnam.  It is the cultural center and tourist destination of the country and had been designated as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage site, a treasure of mankind.  It is also the top level medical center of Central Vietnam and the entire country.  The province is working to become a major city under direct control of the Central Government (i.e. Saigon, Hanoi, Can Tho).  This is where many industrial centers will be built.  It is because of its unique location, the current state of social and economic development, the needs for disaster prevention is first priority.

When a disaster occurs, not only is the medical arm is involved in response, the entire society has to respond with effective coordination of all agencies and because of that there must be an inter-agency conference to discuss ways to cooperate so that a disaster will be met with a successful response in the province.