International Disaster Operations
Two of BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine’s flagship Humanitarian Disaster Operations programs are ongoing in Haiti: Child in Hand (www.Childinhand.org) and Be Like Brit (www.BeLikeBrit.org), both providing medical and psychosocial care and education to the most at risk children of Haiti. Under the leadership of Amalia Voskanyan RN, BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine takes a senior management role in each of these sustainable projects. Post-earthquake Haiti continues to experience disaster-like conditions, with infectious disease outbreaks, poor water quality and sanitation, infrastructure collapse, and economic instability. BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine Fellows experience firsthand a real-life post disaster environment and, through BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine’s leadership of these two programs, have the opportunity to develop and implement life-saving relief and educational programs. In addition, Fellows utilize cutting-edge telemedicine systems designed for use in austere environments.
The unique relationship between BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine and the programs in Haiti allow Fellows to participate in the direction and operation of two major projects, both sponsored by non-governmental organizations (NGO). Fellows learn what is required to run and operate a NGO in a foreign country, including management, fundraising, logistics and operations, security and communications, supply-chain, and sustainable practices. This unique educational experience allows BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine Fellows the opportunity to lead these programs, and learn by experience the daily hurdles faced by NGO’s around the world. In addition, these programs allow Fellows to conduct ongoing research in the field. To date, BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine Fellows have had their research accepted for presentation at some of the most recognized medical conferences in the world, including recently in Rome, Dubai, London, Ankara, and Chicago.
The fellowship responded to the devastating Earthquake which occurred on January 12, 2010 in Haiti.
Following the Haiti earthquake, the BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine deployed a multi-discipline team to Haiti that was tasked with two missions:
1) Work with Partners in health Psychosocial teams in Haiti to assist in train the trainers programs for Haitian social workers to enhance their psychological first aid capabilities.
2) Geo-tag and assess as many “tent cities” as possible for the US Navy .
Both tasks were accomplished, with over 35 tent cities geo-tagged and assessed by the team. Following this trip, Disaster Fellow Dr. Michael Molloy led two other trips into Haiti, leading the medical relief efforts near the University Hospital in Port au Prince.
In November 2013, the Humanitarian Medical Response Team from BIDMC, deployed to Tacloban, Philippines along with GR3, ACTS World Relief team, with RTR Hospital in Tacloban as the base, to provide medical assistance to those affected by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
Jiri, Dolkha Dist., NEPAL
In April 2015, the BIDMC Disaster Medical Team deployed to Dolakha district in Nepal to provide humanitarian, medical and psychosocial assistance in the aftermath of the devastating April 25th earthquake. The team again deployed with GR3 / ACTS World relief team, with a base at Jiri Hospital, at Jiri in Dolakha District.