Norway Ready with the World’s First Health Crisis Team
A Norwegian medical team will soon be ready to handle health crises within 48 hours – no matter where in the world it hits.
The international health community was not well prepared when ebola broke out in West Africa or when the earthquake hit Haiti. The EU and the World Health Organization (WHO) therefore made a model for standardized effort teams that can rise up and tackle crisis situations.
Norway is the first country in the world to get such a specialized group in place. The team trained this week at Akershus Fortress in Oslo and is set to be approved for use in acute situations.
Proud Health Minister, Bent Høie (H), and EU Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, visited the training area last Friday.
“Good training and common guidelines are crucial for the international community to provide fast and efficient help. I’m proud that Norway as the first country gets this in place,” says Høie.
The Norwegian team is called Emergency Medical Team, and it is equipped to respond to earthquakes, natural disasters, and serious outbreaks, once the UN or the EU requests assistance. The Norwegian team is also specially equipped to operate in cold climate.
“There are 3 teams with 20 members each that are consisting this operation, giving a total of 60 members all in all. They have equipment to treat up to a hundred patients a day. The team is self-sufficient for six weeks and only needs access to water and fuel,” says the Minister of Health.
The group should be operational on site within 24-48 hours, depending on travel time. And they must be ready for treatment twelve hours after arrival.
The team will focus on taking care of primary health care and simple acute medical injuries. They should also be able to assess, stabilize and transfer persons with serious injury or illness to hospitals or other healthcare institutions.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today