by: Bilquis Rehman
General Manager, ICR & Advocacy Department
The seminar was organized to focus on the expert opinion from Dr. Samad Billoo, on existing practices and challenges involved in medical emergencies as part of daily occurrences across the country, Karachi being prone to natural and manmade calamities, is badly suffering due to lack of learning, sharing, regulations and systems. He highlighted the importance of understanding “Structured Response Methodologies” for disaster and emergencies. Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed, Chief Executive, HANDS, gave the welcome address and presented HANDS approach on emergency relief to the audience.
In this regard, the key stakeholders of Karachi medical emergencies were invited to present their medical emergencies approaches. Mr. Salman Shah, DG Provincial Disaster Management Auhtority, Sindh, Ms. Joan Dodman, USAID Health Specialist, Prof. Saeed Qureshi from Civil Hospital, Dr. Junaid Razaque from Aman Foundation, Mr. Ubaid Hashmi from Al-Mustafa Trust, Mr. M. Ramzan Chhipa from Chhipa Welfare Association, Dr. M. Shahid from Indus Hospital, Dr. Seemi from Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation and Mr. Abdul Aziz from Al-Khidmat Welfare Society shared their strengths, weaknesses, posed challenges, and gave recommendations.
Dr. Billoo briefed the audience on technically equipped and trained appointed staff to work in emergencies. According to him the inability to mitigate the disaster on the day one occurs is failure of planning. “‘It will never happen to us’ is not an acceptable excuse for the absence of adequate planning”, he remarked.
Dr. Billoo pointed out that during an emergency there should be a major incident plan in place for every EMS provider (ambulance service), each hospital that accepts emergencies, high risk venues, such as sports stadiums and concert halls and a regional, provincial and national plan for the coordination of resources on a wider scale.
Dr. Ghaffar Billoo, Chairman HANDS, thanked the audience and urged to gather up for the needs of Karachi and overall humanity.
Dr. Billoo has over 23 years’ experience in the Emergency Medical Services field and currently working for ‘The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)’ in London, a consecutive award winning organization by the UK government.