Emergency Medical Team (EMT)
ESTABLISHING THE MALTESER INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL TEAM
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an emergency medical team (EMT)?
As a result of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, when a large number of medical teams arrived without coordination and appropriate quality health services, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a global registration system where EMTs can be verified and classified. The purpose is to standardize the quality of medical care and interventions. EMTs are groups of health and related professionals that treat patients affected by an emergency or disaster. A team can comprise any medical doctor, nurse or paramedic supported by logisticians and related technical experts.
2. What are its aims?
EMTs are used for sudden onset disasters like earthquakes, with a medical, trauma and surgical focus. The EMT provides a predictable and timely response to affected populations and governments. The EMT aims to improve quality of care as well as coordination between international clinical teams where the governments are stretched and overwhelmed. EMTs must strive for self-sufficiency and comply with the classification and minimum standards set by WHO and it partners so as to not burden the national health system in emergency situations. Only certified EMT’s are allowed to be deployed in the future to emergencies.
3. What is the Role of the Malteser International Emergency Medical Team?
The EMT is part of the Malteser International emergency response unit (M-ERU). The EMT as a team or individual team members may support WHO and Malteser International post-disaster and emergency response operations. Individual EMT members can be seconded to WHO or other agencies as well as being deployed for Malteser International. In principal, the EMT through the M-ERU may support Malteser International operations divisions and country offices in emergencies through technical and operational support including logistics, equipment and drugs. The Government of Germany is committed to help address global health concerns. Malteser International is the only German NGO receiving assistance through the Foreign Affairs Office for the registration of its EMT.
4. Who is the Malteser International Emergency Medical Team?
At present, the EMT comprises both Malteser International staff from M-ERU and country offices as well as self-employed medical and non-medical specialists with proven experience in humanitarian crisis and familiar with Malteser International operational procedures in emergencies. Medical staff should be experienced in initial trauma care that relates to triage on mass scale, wound and basic fracture management, basic emergency care of paediatric, obstetric, mental health, and medical presentations. As of October 2016, the EMT has 25 members. Interested qualified candidates can apply with M-ERU. Malteser International Emergency Relief Team and Malteser regional offices in Europe and the US are responsible to support EMT members through capacity building through various training sessions including medical procedures such as cholera tent operations, staff security, logistics and communications.
5. What is the scope of work?
The Malteser International EMT is under registration as EMT type 1 (fixed) with WHO since June 2016. Type 1 implies the provision of outpatient initial care of injuries and other significant health care needs according to WHO basic treatment protocols in sudden onset disasters. A type 1 EMT must be capable of treating at least 100 outpatients per day and function during day-time. EMT type 1 comprises 12 medical staff (1:3 doctor:nurse ratio (including paramedics) and about 7 non-medical staff including logisticians, WATSAN specialists and admin/finance managers).
6. What Logistics support is provided during emergencies?
The EMT is expected to be self-sufficient and stay at least 2-3 weeks, or even longer if specialized in ambulant follow- up for long term wound care and rehabilitation. Health services can be provided from suitable existing structures or without health care structure and need to be available within 48 hours. For the EMT to be rapidly deployed a standardized unit (basic health unit) is being developed, which comprises medical and non-medical goods including power supply, telecommunications, and water and sanitation equipment, ready for deployment at short notice. Discussions are ongoing with the Humanitarian Procurement Center, Action Medeor, to provide stand-by emergency and cholera kits. The procurement of a water treatment system and specifications for essential non-medical supplies is ongoing.
7. What is the Benefit of the Malteser International EMT?
There are three main benefits: operational, qualitative and strategic.
First, Malteser International becomes a certified global player among international emergency medical teams, which may result in increased demand and financial assistance for emergency operations globally. The Malteser International EMT can be seen as an asset for the Organization where it is a catalyst for health service provision, either as a team or its members to countries and or organizations in the context of emergencies including epidemics.
Second, the EMT registration process is a unique opportunity for Malteser International operations departments including country offices and the emergency response unit to strengthen overall emergency preparedness and response capacity through improved quality assurance, comprehensive standard operation procedures and the provision of stand by logistics. As a result of the process, medical and non-medical standard operation procedures for emergencies will be developed including for logistics, human resources, staff safety, IT and communications. Third, the EMT process provides a platform to build and decentralize Malteser International capacities through tailored training and information. This allows Malteser International and partners to strengthen self-reliance and to respond more effectively to disasters and emergencies in the regions.
For further information www.who.int/health-cluster