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PRECONFERENCE COTE ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Jan. 21, 2010, Ahmadabad Dr. Anil K. Srivastava President- AIOTA, Executive Chairman ACOT & Editor, IJOT – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Ahmadabad Dr. Anil K. Srivastava President-
AIOTA, Executive Chairman ACOT Editor,
IJOT Head of OT Services, Department of Physical
Medicine Rehabilitation, C.S.M. Medical
University, Lucknow
PREAMBLE It was all quiet on the waterfront on
the Sunday morning after Christmas in 2004 at
Kanyakumari, the famous Marina Beach in Chennai
and elsewhere on the Kerala coast and Andaman
Nicober Islands. There was the excitement of a
holyday with an offbeat mood with swarms of
people on the sea front children playing cricket
and man and women on their morning work at the
Marina. Elsewhere, fishermen were putting out to
sea for the days catch. Then all on a sudden, a
curious thing happened.
The holidaymakers at Kanyakumari were awestruck
when the sea receded from the shores. The
horrifying Indian Ocean Tsunami waves of 26th
Dec. 2004 engulfed massive no. of lives and
properties worth billions in coastal regions of
Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Pondicherry
and Andaman Nicobar Island in India. The
damages in all respect were many times higher in
Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It led to
cries, chaos, havoc, floating bodies, and screams
for help.
It was the most severe disaster in recent history
that has happened in Southeast Asia and affected
many people. Similarly the killer Earthquake in
Bhuj and Kucch in 2001 and again on Oct 8, 2005
in J K region in India and Pakistan killed many
thousands and grossly damaged properties and
infrastructure in affected areas.
Haiti quake Tens of thousands feared dead,
millions homeless The 7.0 magnitude earthquake
that rocked the tiny poor country of Haiti
struck a week back at 453 pm on Tuesday, Jan.
12, 2010, devastating the capital city of
Port-au-Prince, which is between the Caribbean
Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Parliament has
collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools
have collapsed. Hospitals, main prison have
collapsed, Thousands of people may have
died. Officials feared thousands -- perhaps more
than 100,000, but another official said that
figure could climb to 500,000, but there was no
firm count.
People running past rubble of a damaged building
after a powerful earthquake struck
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Tuesday, 12th Jan. 2010.
Disaster Risks in India The United Nations said
in a report released on June 15. 2009, that
People in China, India and Indonesia are among
those at an "extreme" risk of dying in a natural
World Disasters Report 2006 informs around 58
of the total numbers of people killed in natural
disasters during 1996-2005 were from countries of
South East Region. In this decade, Asia had the
highest no. of natural disasters (1273) and
technological disasters (1387) - this comprises
44 of all disasters that occurred across the
world during this time period.
Bangladesh is most threatened by cyclones. People
in China, Colombia, India, Indonesia and Myanmar
were at the highest risk of dying from
earthquakes. Indians are most in danger from
floods also. India, on account of its
geographical position, climate and geological
setting, is the worst-affected theatre of
disaster in the South Asian region. With
climate change expected to increase the severity
and frequency of natural calamities, India one of
the 10 nations most affected by such
  • The Statistics Are Alarming
  • 22 States of the country are disaster-prone.
  • 68 per cent of the cultivable area is vulnerable
    to drought.
  • 58.6 per cent of India is prone to earthquakes of
    moderate to very high intensity. The fragile
    Himalayan mountain ranges are extremely
    vulnerable to earthquakes (and landslides and
    avalanches). Western and central India is equally

  • over 40 million hectares (12 per cent of land) is
    prone to floods and river erosion
  • of the 7,516 km long coastline, close to 5,700 km
    is prone to cyclones and tsunamis
  • Vulnerability to disasters/ emergencies of
    Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear
    (CBRN) origin also exists
  • expanding population, urbanization and
    industrialization, development within high-risk
    zones, environmental degradation and climate
    change heightened vulnerabilities to disaster

World Disaster Report 2006 also informs that
Bahrain and a number of Gulf States face a very
low risk of death from disasters. However
Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Latvia were also
among "the safest places on earth from sudden"
disasters. The 30 odd types of disasters, which
have been experienced in the past in India, have
been categorized as under
    Drainage Management / Droughts / Cyclones /
    Tsunami / Tornadoes / Hurricanes / Hailstorms /
    Cloudburst / Snow Avalanches / Heat Cold Waves
    / Thunder and lightning)
    Landslides / Mud glows / Sea Erosion / Dam Bursts
    Dam Failures / Mine Fires)

  • ACCIDENT RELATED DISASTERS (Road, Rail and other
    Transportation Accidents including waterways-Boat
    Capsizing/ Mine Flooding/Major Building
    Collapse/Serial Bomb Blasts/Festival related
    Disasters/ Electrical Disasters Fires/Forest
    Fires/ Urban Fires/Mine Flooding/ Oil Spill/
    Village Fires)
    Disasters/ Epidemics/Cattle and Bird
    Epidemics/Pest Attacks/Food Poisoning)

Earthquakes in India
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Indian Ocean Tsunami 26 Dec., 2004
Marina Beach after Tsunami
Tsunami in Thailand
Sudden crashing of a giant wave against the
Vivekananda Rock Memorial, situated at the
southern tip of Kanyakumari.
15TH May, 2003. The fire broke out in three
coaches of the Golden Temple Express, which was
travelling from Bombay (Mumbai) to the holy Sikh
city of Amritsar. At least 38 people have died in
a fire on an express train in India's northern
Punjab state
Mumbai flooding after 2006 deluge
Disaster Management in Respect to Occupational
Therapy The Background 2004 Tsunami was a
driving force for WFOT and OTs in India, in
advancing efforts to support and build capacity
among occupational therapists - in Asia and
beyond- to effectively engage in disaster work.
WFOT undertook a situational analysis within the
affected countries in this region in March 2005
to inform a strategic response, locally and
Based on the outcome of the situational analyses
of Tsunami affected countries carried out by a
WFOT Team , a 5 day Regional Action Planning and
Capacities Building Workshop was organized by
WFOT in close collaboration with WHO and other
international NGOs , at Mount Lavinia, Colombo in
Sri Lanka from 11-16 Dec. 2005 which was attended
by 25 participants, including Tsunami affected
countries India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and
Post Tsunami Action Planning and Capacity
Building Regional Workshop aimed to empower
occupational therapists to alleviate the
sufferings of disaster survivors. A strong need
was felt for OTs to shift their knowledge and
unique skills into a new context of OT in CBR and
community development in disaster situations, and
in coordination and liaison with NGOs and
Government. It was also hoped that this
initiative might contribute to a rejuvenation of
the profession in India.
A holistic approach to disaster management is
required in planning for prevention, reduction,
mitigation, and preparedness and thereafter
response planning, goes a long way to reduce the
loss of life and property and minimizing the
after-effects due to disasters. It is estimated
that the rehabilitation needs of 80 of people
with disabilities, in India, could be satisfied
at the community level. This calls for an urgent
need to draft policy guidelines for inclusion of
occupational therapy at grass root level. However
appropriate training, counseling and employment
of OTs for working in community in disaster
situations or in general, still remains a
That was the reason that AIOTA accepted to become
a part of the regional team and achieved success
in generating cooperation from WHO in form of
financial assistance for sending its 4 member
team to participate in the Regional Workshop at
Sri Lanka in Dec 2005 for supporting this unique
development of the profession of Occupational
Therapy in this subcontinent. Following were the
Dr. Anil K. Srivastava President, AIOTA Team
Leader Dr. M. Mathanraj David Chennai Dr.
P. Ramakrishnan Chennai Dr R. K. Goel
Lucknow from a National level N.G.O.
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In response to the challenges faced by OTs in
addressing the scale of need arising from
disasters, coupled with the limited numbers of
OTs and their access to appropriate resources,
workshop participants adopted the motto Work
Smart with Heart. This captures the essence of
how OT intends to move forward in progressing
regional and national plans and proposals in
Disaster Management.
  • The Indian presentation in the Regional Workshop
    stressed that
  • It is the uniqueness of each emergency that is
    crucially important to bear in mind for planning
    strategy for preparedness.
  • The planning and outcome of the workshop should
    be for disasters in general in place of Tsunami
    only to provide it a broader platform for

  • The after-effects of disasters including
    physical, social, psychological and economical
    and thereafter rehabilitation and relief services
    are identical to be addressed with.
  • Until now globally O.T.s have limited engagement
    in types of disasters. Although they have
    capabilities and potentialities to have a
    significant long term role to offer in helping
    the traumatized societies rebuild and return to
    meaningful occupations.

AIOTA emphatically emphasized on the lack of
awareness of OT and thus limitations in OT
involvement in disasters. It informed that OTs
have been responding through their work within
government services and in some cases, with local
NGOs. Mostly it has been reactive and therapy
oriented Building OT understanding and capacity
regarding all aspects of disaster management will
help overcome many limitations, while language,
cultural and contextual knowledge means a focus
on equipping locally based OTs with disaster
management skills
  • The WFOT project on DPR was designed in two
  • The Regional Workshop followed with
  • Subsequent National Workshops in Disaster
    Preparedness and Response (D.P. R.) in Tusanami
    affected countries India, Sri Lanka, Thailand
    and Indonesia.

It also aimed to inform this cutting edge
development to other parts of the world and build
a foundation in disaster response to Occupational
Therapy. Significantly no other international
health care profession has achieved this outcome
till date in care of disaster survivors.
National Occupational Therapy E-Group Workshop on
Disaster Preparedness and Response Since due to
the reasons beyond control the National OT
Workshop on DPR scheduled from 3-7 July at New
Delhi could not be held, the AIOTA and WFOT
Presidents and officials in consultation with
Regional DPR Team, decided to organize it as an
E- Workshop by using the innovative mode of using
the electronic media the Internet an entirely
new approach for such an event of international
The National OT E-Workshop on DPR commenced from
18th September, 2006 with voluntarily registered
16 participants, and concluded on 23rd Dec. 06.
As a first time experience for all concerned,
and given the vagaries of electronic
communication across continents, time zones and
interspersed with national holidays, the E-Group
proceeded surprisingly well.
Resource Facilitators for National OT E- Workshop
on DPR
WFOT Consultant Kerry Thomas (Australia)
British Delegate and WFOT Executive, now V.P
.Finance Samantha Shann (U.K.)
President AIOTA, Dr Anil K. Srivastava (
India )
WFOT President, Kit Sinclair Hong Kong
Following were the 16 participants
  • Dr Mrs Z.D.Ferzandi, Coordinator Participant
  • Dr. Indira R. Kenkre
  • Dr. Rajani Kelkar
  • Dr. Jyothika Bijlani
  • Dr. Anuradha Pai
  • Dr. Shailaja Jaywant
  • Dr. Shashi Oberai
  • Dr. Satish Maslekar
  • Dr. Veena Slaich
  • Dr. Anita Gupta
  • Dr. Krunal Desai
  • Dr. Poorva Shinde
  • Dr. Kalpana Kadu
  • Dr. Odette Gomes
  • Dr. Mahesh Kawle
  • Dr. Pankaj Bajpai

E-Workshop The Purpose and Objectives The key
purpose of this Action Learning Action Planning
E-Workshop on DPR was to build capacity of OTs
to respond to emergency situations, now and in
the future and in doing so to also advance the
role of the profession in general community based
and occupational approaches to work.
  • The Outcomes of the E-Workshop
  • Group members have increased understanding of
    DPR and the potential roles that OT can have in
    DPR, and increased knowledge, skills and
    confidence to progress planning and engagement of
    Occupational Therapy in DPR.
  • A first Draft National Occupational Therapy DPR
    Plan Document is prepared from which future
    capacity building and assistance can progress.

  • Draft Terms of Reference for a National OT DPR
    Task Force, a body authorized by AIOTA to take
    forward further development, national endorsement
    and implementation of the National Plan, and to
    identify potential members for the Task Force.

  • The establishment of a National OT Disaster
    Management Task Force
  • Education and capacity building for OTs in all
    aspects of disaster management.
  • Coordination with different disaster preparedness
    and response agencies.
  • Mobilization of systems and resources (materials,
    funds, volunteers, association structures and
    events etc) to progress plan objectives and

PURPOSE To enable OTs to contribute to national
DPR efforts in an effective and professional
way to assist in the recovery of survivors of
disasters and to reduce the risks for those who
are especially vulnerable in disaster situations
such as people with disability
  • Awareness Rising
  • To create awareness among OTs of the role of OT
    in DPR and especially to promote OT engagement
    at the primary and grassroots levels by
  • Including DPR as a subject in the OT curriculum
    (direction has been issued to all OT Educational
    Centers in India for implementation)

  • Arranging camps and making compulsory postings
    for students for relief and rehabilitation work
    in community before and after disaster (AIOTA
    Branches and few of the OT Educational Centres
    are rendering services to disaster survivors
    within the community and also in institutions
    after referral).
  • Publishing related articles in the journals,
    periodicals read routinely by OTs. (Articles.
    News, Letters and information are appearing in
    AIOTA official publication Indian Journal of OT
    and AIOTA website www.aiota.org as and when

Policy, Procedures and Standards As a new area
of practice for OTs in India, there is a need to
develop policies and procedures to guide OTs in
preparing for and responding to disaster
situations. (COTE arranged today on Disaster
Management in OT is specifically planned to guide
and prepare OTs to respond to render their
expertise for disaster survivors whenever is
Coordination, Networking and Partnerships After
the policy planning there will be a need for
publicity, co-ordination with other disaster team
members. Evidence-Based Interventions Liaison
to be established with key research and
educational institutes to ensure that OT
education in the field of DPR is based on
evidence-based policy. It would be achieved by
critically evaluating what is already done and to
blend it with new knowledge so that it can be
implemented in a given situation.
  • It means placing more emphasis on integration and
    transfer of research knowledge into practice to
    be used along with judgment, training, needs of
    PWD and community members.
  • Capacity Building
  • Facilitating development of DPR in OT
    undergraduate and Post graduate programs.
  • Facilitating professional development in DPR for
    OTs who want to or may otherwise become engaged
    in DPR.
  • Sharing national and international expertise,
    experience and exchange programs with Key
    International Organizations.

THE DP R TASK FORCE To take overall
responsibility for the development, endorsement
and implementation and evaluation of DPR
involving OTs in India, including preparedness,
emergency response and recovery programs. This
will include ensuring OTs work as a team in
providing immediate OT services for disaster
stricken people and people with disability, and
maintaining proper follow-ups.
  • The main functions and responsibilities of the
    Interim Task Force that has been constituted by
    AIOTA and that further needs to be strengthened,
    are aimed to
  • Coordinate OT National DPR Plan development and
  • Coordinate development and endorsement of OT
    Guidelines and Standards for engagement in DPR.
  • Coordinate OT awareness raising and marketing
    regarding OT and DPR.

  • Develop plans for preparedness and response in
    conjunction with Branch members and other key
  • Coordinate OT education and professional
    development regarding DPR, including for
    existing OT professionals and for Undergraduate
    and Postgraduate students.
  • Develop partnerships between OTs and other key
    stakeholders (government, donors, local and
    international NGOs, WFOT, etc).

  • Support the coordination and implementation of
    Pilot Projects and other programmes and services
    in relation to DPR
  • In a Disaster/Emergency, to coordinate
    implementation of appropriate Action Plans.
  • Develop and maintain an operational function
    regarding administration, systems, capacity
    development, and coordination at all levels.
  • Coordinate monitoring and evaluation, and

  • Facilitate sharing of information and learning,
    and resource dissemination.
  • Members of the Task Force may require orientation
    and training in order to success in a
    Disaster/Emergency, to coordinate implementation
    of appropriate Action Plans.
  • Task Force membership and determination of roles
    will be endorsed by AIOTA in consultation with
    its local branches.

  • The Interim National OT Task Force
  • To respond to emergency situation an Interim
    National OT Task force is being constituted in
    AIOTA. The need is for its strengthening for the
    effective functioning for involvement of OTs
  • President AIOTA Coordinator
  • Group Leader any one of the senior AIOTA member
    in the affected area, may be designated as Group
    Leader to take up the responsibility.
  • Branch Convenor of the affected area.

  • NTF Members Active participants of E-Workshop
  • Associate Human resources qualified OTs in the
    affected region ,
  • Undergraduate interns and Postgraduate OT
    students from the particular/ nearby regions.

Potential Benefits of Involvement in
DPR Occupational therapists are passionate and
committed professionals, and potentially have
much to contribute in facilitating the recovery
of traumatized people and communities. Generally
however, occupational therapists are not
connected into formal disaster response
mechanisms. This is mainly because OTs have
limited familiarity or connection with disaster
response coordination systems. Their role is not
widely recognized.
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to
enable people to participate successfully in the
activities of everyday life. They achieve this
outcome by enabling people to do things that will
enhance their ability to live meaningful lives or
by modifying the environment to better support
participation. It enhances longer term national
capacity and self-reliance in disaster affected
countries, and beyond.
  • The significant benefits of involvement of OTs
    in DPR also include
  • better equipped with local health professionals
    in their ongoing efforts to rebuild their lives
    and livelihoods, contributing to outcomes that
    can be sustained by local service providers and

  • local Health Professional including OTs,
    engaging with disasters and reconstruction
    policy, planning and coordination mechanism,
    contributing pertinent expertise to the current
    response effort while laying the foundation for
    more cohesive involvement and response efforts in
    the event of future disasters

  • local occupational therapists and others become
    more effectively able to participate in and
    progress wider community, government and
    international objectives for enabling access for
    all to community based rehabilitation and health
    care services, contributing to the achievement of
    national, regional and UN goals (eg. WHO, UNICEF,
    Human Rights and Millennium Development Goals)

  • role in stronger networking and coordination
    between local health professionals, government
    services and projects, and national and
    international NGO programs, providing for a more
    integrated, holistic and yet rationalized and
    self-reliant service framework

  • at a more practical level benefit include better
    quality ongoing care and support for disaster
    affected individuals and their families,
    particularly those with psycho-social trauma and
    physical injuries, stronger referral and
    follow-up systems between community care,
    hospital and rehab centre programs and more
    disability and age friendly accessibility in
    private and public buildings/spaces

  • Relationships between donors and occupational
    therapy organizations (including WFOT and
    national associations) established that lay the
    foundation for ongoing partnerships for mutual
    benefit and the benefit of communities into the
  • Practitioners become equally responsive to
    psychological and psychiatric conditions as they
    are to physical disorders. A special focus is
    built on the early detection of stress,
    psychological distress and psychiatric phenomena
  • Intra professional support that is essential is
    also achieved.

Specific OT Roles Post Disaster Inclusion of
OTs in CBR-Post Disaster at grass root level is
not possible unless there is knowledge and
understanding of the local culture, the socio
economic background and the religious practices
within the community. The culture, the religion
and family in India, impel people to support and
look after the weak and disabled. Families
provide an identity and sense of security to its
members irrespective of their ailments and/or
Caring and sharing is still a part of Indian
culture. An effective community therapy program
is very much dependent upon its acceptance by the
community. Realization of need and involvement of
community both are key factors for acceptance.
  • Specific OT Roles Post Disaster may include but
    are not limited to-
  • Ensuring accessible environments post disaster at
    all stages of recovery ( eg. In displaced persons
    camps) and reconstruction ( in rebuilding homes
    and community facilities)
  • Organization of daily activities in displaced
    persons camps and surviving communities to
    include persons with disabilities, women, elderly
    and children
  • Liaison with/ and encouragement of community
    leaders and others to reorganize community
    supports and routines

  • Use of every day occupations including play and
    sports to facilitate recovery
  • Assessment of mental health status of survivors
    for depression and suicidal tendencies, with
    subsequent counseling and occupation based
  • Training of volunteers to carry out mental health
    assessment and counseling, thus providing more
    immediate services for greater numbers.

  • Disability and Disasters Some Facts
  • 60 of PWD are overlooked during disaster
    situations PWD and their relatives are even more
    excluded in emergency situations than in normal
  • Women and children are 14 times more at risk than
    men the elderly are also at high risk PWD are
    more at risk
  • PWD suffer particularly high rates of mortality
    and morbidity in disasters, while many more
    become disabled as a result of disasters.

The Issues to be considered in Disaster
Management A typical Disaster Management
continuum comprises of six elements i.e.,
Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness in
pre-disaster phase, and Response, Rehabilitation
and Reconstruction in post-disaster phase.
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The OTs engaged in management of Disaster
affected should consider following issues in
planning strategy
  • Large and overwhelming numbers of displaced
    persons who may be highly mobile (including
    within camp accommodation) and/or with whom it
    may be difficult to register their needs.
  • Issues of immediate requirements for shelter,
    food, water, and disease prevention/sanitation
    and their long term provision and sustainability.

  • Loss of income and sustainable means of living
    for survivors -- affecting immediate and long
    term survival, and responses to post-traumatic
  • Psychosocial effects to survivors which include
    loss of family and other supports particularly
    affecting vulnerable groups (e.g. the elderly,
    children, people with disabilities).

  • Significant needs for psychological and mental
    health care including identification and
    referral, and support for health-workers and
    systems and organizations who may struggle to
    cope with the demands in the early stages
  • Loss of, or effects to, local community services
    and local health workers.

  • Difficulties in service delivery due to effects
    to infrastructure and supplies emergency
    medical, food and water supplies, sanitation
    issues, destruction of roads and access routes,
    transport and fuel availability, health care
    buildings and facilities.
  • Common physical traumas caused by the event
    itself e.g. fractures, amputations, brain
    injury as well as the needs of people with
    disabilities prior to the disaster.

  • Necessity to offer a coordinated approach between
    all groups and organizations involved.
  • Building on existing local community coping
  • Offering culturally and contextually appropriate

Mental Health Issues Persons affected by a
disasters are exposed to extreme stress,
immediately and over a period of years, and are
vulnerable to the development of serious mental
health problems and mental disorders. The early
intervention should include making effort in
actively engaging people in decision making,
including about how emergency care is to be
provided, has shown to markedly reduce the impact
of trauma and promote recovery (e.g. reduce
psychosocial trauma and longer term stress
It is important to consider the culture and
socio-political context - having people
themselves be actively involved in sorting out
these things will improve the appropriateness of
the responses.
The National Vision on Disaster Management On 23
December, 2005, the Government of India took a
defining step by enacting the Disaster Management
Act, 2005, which envisaged the creation of the
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA),
headed by the Prime Minister, State Disaster
Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by the
Chief Ministers, and District Disaster Management
Authorities (DDMAs) headed by the Collector or
District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner as the
case may be, to spearhead and adopt a holistic
and integrated approach to DM.
The focus is from the erstwhile relief-centric
response to a proactive prevention, mitigation
and preparedness-driven approach for conserving
developmental gains and also to minimize losses
of life, livelihoods and property. The Union
Cabinet also approved the National Policy on
Disaster Management (NPDM) very recently on Oct.
22nd, 2009.
It is prepared in tune with and in pursuance of
the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with a vision
to build a safe and disaster resilient India by
developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster
oriented and technology driven strategy through
collective efforts of all Government Agencies and
Non-Governmental Organizations. This will be
achieved through a culture of prevention,
mitigation and preparedness to generate a prompt
and efficient response at the time of disasters.
It will provide the framework/roadmap for
handling disasters in a holistic manner.
The National Policy on Disaster Management The
Policy covers all aspects of disaster management
covering institutional, legal and financial
arrangements disaster prevention, mitigation and
preparedness, techno-legal regime response,
relief and rehabilitation reconstruction and
recovery capacity development knowledge
management and research and development.
The NPDM addresses the concerns of all the
sections of the society including differently
able persons, women, children and other
disadvantaged groups. In terms of grant of relief
and formulating measures for rehabilitation of
the affected persons due to disasters, the issue
of equity/inclusiveness has been accorded due
The NPDM aims to bring in transparency and
accountability in all aspects of disaster
management through involvement of community,
community based organizations, local bodies and
civil society. The Policy represents merely the
first step in the new journey. It is an
instrument that hopes to build the overarching
framework within which specific actions need to
be taken by various stakeholders including OT and
health professional at all levels.
India needs to make its Hospitals Disaster
Resistant According to WHO Global Warming is
increasing every day, raising the chances of
typhoons and floods. In such a situation, the
need is to have safer hospitals with sufficient
human resources to tackle the surge of patients
that would be impacted by disaster. In pursuance
of it, WHO is spearheading the campaign in
disaster prone regions of S.E. Asia to promote
the concept of disaster- resilient health
facilities in its 11 member countries, including
The U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) is also committed to including people who
have physical and mental disabilities and those
who advocate and offer services on behalf of
people with disabilities. The commitment extends
from the design and implementation of USAID
programming to advocacy for and outreach to
people with disabilities.
  • Future Plans in Respect to OT AIOTA plans to
    expend OT services if required in collaboration
    with WFOT and other national and international
    agencies, for expansion of OT services in DPR by
  • Facilitating development of DPR in OT
    undergraduate and post graduate programs
  • Facilitating professional development in DPR for
    OTs who want to or may otherwise become engaged
    in DPR

  • Contributing to processes, to increase the number
    of OTs available to work in DPR and related
    community based work roles
  • Mobilize access to learning-teaching materials
    and resources in support of OT capacity building
  • Sharing national and international expertise,
    experience and exchange programs

  • Sensitizing the key authorities in government, on
    contribution of OTs in DPR and involve them in
    the planning/Implementing of the educative and
    communicative program. Recommending to Government
    for employment opportunities for OTs for
    community based roles
  • Propagating through media (Print, T.V., and
    Radio) regarding achievements made by OT
    individuals and groups from the field in DPR
    related activities.

Natural disasters are often frightening and
difficult for us to understand, because we have
no control over, when and where they happen. What
we can control is how prepared we are as
professionals, communities and governments to
deal with the dangers that natural disasters
bring. The effects of disasters are made worse by
underdeveloped infrastructure and widespread
poverty in our country.
Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes or any other
natural disaster can't be avoided, but with good
preparation and well-organized help after the
fact, it is possible to survive and go back to
normal life afterwards, with experience,
expertise and dedicated efforts of all concerned,
including we OTs.
Acknowledgement Inclusion of OTs in Disaster
Management is a brain child of Kit Sinclair the
immediate past President of WFOT. It was her
vision and the hard work and dedication that the
new area of OT practice has emerged. In support
with Kerry Thomas an OT and WFOT Consultant, she
not only organized Regional Workshop but the both
also had been the key persons in successful
organization of national workshops in Tsunami
affected countries.
WFOTs Disaster Preparedness Response
Information Resource Package is document
carrying useful information, based on the report
on Post Tsunami situational analysis, outcomes of
Regional and National Workshops and useful
linkage for further development of this specific
area. The encouragement and guidance from Kit and
Kerry to me in preparation for the COTE on
Disaster Management in OT is gratefully
acknowledged. My gratitude to AIOTA and ACOT EC
for showing confidence and faith on me for
conducting the COTE on an entirely
new area of OT practice.
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