252567 Role of public health nurses in supporting the people of the affected Tohoku region

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Tamami Matsumoto , Health Policy Department, Public Health Division, Public Health and Welfare Bureau, Osaka City, Japan
Facing a large-scale disaster, the the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare coordinates the dispatch of public health nurses. The Ministry confirms the number of requests for public health nurses from affected prefectures, and makes inquiries to municipalities throughout Japan about the possibility of dispatching public health nurses.

Osaka City began to dispatch public health nurses to disaster areas 3 days after the earthquake, and has continuously dispatched a total of more than 100 public health-related staff on 4 to 6 day-rotation for 15 weeks. This report discusses the experience of coordination for the dispatch of public health nurses belonging to 25 local health departments, health welfare centers, and city governments as well as health activities which were undertaken in the disaster areas. Two to four dispatched public health nurses per shelter were in charge. They intensively provided 200 to 800 evacuating residents for about 2 weeks: (1) treat minor injuries; (2) check individual health statuses and IADL to be used as data for medical care. As a result, the spread of influenza or rotavirus-related infectious diseases were minimized. We reported the situation of shelters in damaged municipalities to local health departments, and shared information with the staff, which enabled us to improve the medical care system necessary for affected people, arrange drugs, and ensure welfare equipment. In disaster areas, affected people began moving into temporary dwellings; thus, it was necessary to clarify needs across the community, develop activities from a strategic perspective, and provide continuous support concerning mental health.

Learning Areas:
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describes the change of public health nurses support within the post-disaster period. Demonstrate the background conditions for the appropriate public health nursing after the earthquake and tsunami.

Keywords: Disasters, Recovery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health nurse. I coordinate public health nursing service in health center of Osaka city and foster young public health nurses .
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.