EXPERTISE SERVICES: DRR VOICES BLOG
Sushila Paudel is currently a student of the Disaster Nursing Global Leader Degree Program, University of Kochi, Japan. She is the member of Nursing Association of Nepal (NAN), Kathmandu, Nepal. Sushila Paudel has worked as an EpiNurse coordinator during Nepal Earthquake 2015 in "EpiNurse Project", UNISDR Risk Award winner.
With the arrival of the monsoon clouds, the torrential downpour resulted massive flooding in Nepal, and the southern belts of Terai region suffered great damages of lives and properties. After the control of rain, EpiNurses of Nursing Association Nepal visited some affected districts; Rautahat and Siraha and performed home visiting in communities to assess living conditions of disaster affected people and to deliver care for the disaster victims. During this process, we visited Aurahi. We found that the Primary Health Center staff were jointly running a health camp, 24 hours free health check-up since 5 days then to prevent potential epidemiological outbreaks of communicable diseases. We were being told that the flow of patients had been reduced, thus probably the cases of fever and diarrhea seen in the community were then controlled. However, EpiNurses were permitted to perform the home visiting in the same community Aurahi-1 once again. On assessment of 29 families covering 159 population, 60 under five children and 4 pregnant women, EpiNurses could find out 15 fever cases, 5 diarrheal cases, 2 Acute Respiratory Infection, 3 skin diseases and 1 severe malnutrition. This home visiting result clearly showed that the cases in the community had not been fully controlled. We found victims who were not able to visit health center, and also the people who didn't want to.
All over, we reached up to 225 families covering 1659 population. We not only assessed the cases of communicable diseases following disaster, but also the environmental status, hazards, vulnerable group, socio-economical condition, provided psychological support and public health education regarding personal hygiene, environmental sanitation, nutrition, safe drinking water, and prevention of communicable diseases. Data were collected through mobile application named “SADEN” Shelter Assessment following Disaster by EpiNurse Nepal, that used geo-tagging function and contained questionnaires regarding demography, living environment assessment developed by WHO and post-disaster Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN), used by Ministry of Health. Collected information were then shared with local health center, local government, nursing association and concerned authorities so as to plan further actions for disaster risk reduction programs. Even though this mission was very tiring, we were happy to care and help disaster affected people through our home visit service.
Home visiting is one of best options that plays critical role to identify true victims and to assess their living condition after disaster. And the home visiting local community nurses are advantage for the local government, private sectors and national body. Home visiting programs assist in addressing, planning and implementing any programs that aims to reduce number of people affected by disasters through injury, ill-health, loss of the family home or loss of livelihood. This eventually supports target two of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Thus home visiting programs should be established as policies and procedures, and should be coordinated in between national and international communities, multisectoral partners and stakeholders to work together for risk reduction, for the benefit of affected people globally.
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