Online Program

Developing an emergency response plan for gorongosa national park

Monday, November 4, 2013

Alexander Peters, Medical Student, EMT, School of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Tatiana Havryliuk, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Rob Janisch, Gorongosa Restoration Project, Gorongosa, Mozambique
Sigrid Hahn, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine and Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Natasha Anandaraja, M.D., M.P.H., Global Health Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Introduction: The Gorongosa Restoration Project seeks to bolster tourism at Gorongosa National Park. Increased visitors will likely increase the incidence of medical emergencies. Emergency services remain limited. We therefore sought to better prepare the park for wilderness emergencies (including animal encounters, burns, and construction and motor vehicle accidents), through needs assessment and response planning. Methods: A 2012 audit of the PNG Safety and Emergency Response Plan revealed: 1) outdated contact lists 2) unreliable communication systems 3) negligible first aid equipment outside the park headquarters 3) 27 employees holding first aid training 5) a landing strip for small aircraft. An additional evaluation of the Chitengo Clinic (CC) at the park headquarters revealed staffing by two part-time nurses with limited emergency training and lack of equipment for advanced airway, cardiac, or trauma management. Results: In consultation with park management and health staff, we identified the following immediate goals: 1) establish effective telecommunications in all park areas 2) train essential field employees (rangers, guides, scientists, and management) in first aid 3) place emergency kits in strategic locations including outposts and safari vehicles 4) acquire an ambulance suitable for rough terrain 5) train the CC nurses to include ACLS and trauma care in their scope of practice 5a) ensure full time nursing coverage at the CC 6) partner with a medical evacuation company for air evacuation. Conclusion: Based on this assessment plan, current activities are underway to train field employees in first aid, prepare emergency kits, and further train the CC nursing staff.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Occupational health and safety
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Assess the capacity for Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park to respond to wilderness emergencies. Identify steps to bolster Gorongosa National Park's Emergency Response Plan.

Keyword(s): Emergency, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student and EMT who spearheaded this assessment on Mozambique during Summer 2012 during a Global Health Fellowship through the Mount Sinai Global Health Training Center.
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.