|European Workshop on Educational Aspects of Health in Disasters (Council of Europe, 1982, 50 p.)|
1. Whilst recognising the notable achievements of certain institutions of higher education and research in the management of health problems related to disasters, the workshop drew attention to the inadequacy of educational facilities and resources in the training of personnel concerned with such emergencies. At least nine different modules or short courses were identified by the participants as needed and it was strongly recommended that the Council of Europe, through its channels of communication and through its own work programme support those courses that are already in existence or currently being planned and encourage the development of courses which are either not currently provided or which require duplication in other countries. The workshop asked that research related to health aspects of disasters be promoted. It was felt useful to address the workshops recommendations to the ad hoc Committee of Experts on Earthquake Research set-up by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
2. In view of the infrequency of major European disasters, the difficult assess to tropical refugee situations and the limited staff with experience, self-teaching acquires particular importance and the workshop strongly recommended the Council of Europe to encourage the development of case studies, visual aids, and other teaching materials in the form of educational packages that could be made available to European and other countries. Funding such work and encouraging others to do so is a highly cost-effective method of increasing the impact of the limited number of teaching staff in Europe and elsewhere with relevant experience.
3. In view of the limited facilities and expertise in Europe there is a need to encourage the interchange of both materials and teaching staff between the institutions of higher education and research in Europe concerned with education for health-related problems in disasters. The workshop, therefore, recommends the Council of Europe to sponsor and encourage others to sponsor such interchange by providing scholarships for and funding the exchange of teaching staff between institutions both for purposes of teaching and to enable those planning new courses to visit and participate in programmes which are already operational.
4. The workshop recommended that the Council of Europe should co-operate with ASPHER (the Association of Schools of Public Health in Europe) to promote and co-ordinate the development in Europe of courses concerned with disaster health, to encourage participation in these courses and to avoid unnecessary duplication. It is recommended that a meeting of representatives of the schools of Public Health in Europe be organized to discuss the feasibility of introducing appropriate teaching of health management of disasters in their schools and the appropriate way for actually implementing the programs outlines by the workshop. The association of schools of Public Health in the European region, ASPHER, is the appropriate organization to sponsor this meeting in co-operation with the regional office of WHO for the European region. The General Assembly of ASPHER in September 1981 formally approved holding such a meeting with the Council of Europe and regional office of WHO to discuss such issues.
5. The workshop recommended that programmes for the education of public health engineers and veterinary doctors will take due regard to the health problems related to disasters. The Council of Europe and the WHO are recommended to promote an exchange of views on these teaching aspects among institutes for public health engineering and veterinary education and between institutes for public health engineering education, veterinary schools and schools of public health.
6. Meetings between the groups currently involved in teaching disaster management should be supported on a regular basis to improve co-ordination. Existing programmes should be evaluated to determine current training deficiencies, needs and possibilities for improvements.
7. In order to evaluate the progress of these recommendations and to provide a formal channel through which disaster problems in Europe can be identified, it was considered that the workshop should reconvene on a regular basis.