June 14, 2024

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most important health challenges

Enhancing Emergency Response Coordination Through Training

A medical emergency is an immediate threat to a person’s health or even life and requires intervention. Medical emergencies can be due to injuries, illnesses, infections or untreated chronic conditions. Effective and timely response is crucial to prevent further complications or loss of life.  Medical emergencies can affect individuals, families, groups or entire communities.  

Capacity building for management of medical emergencies in high-risk areas is a vital component of disaster preparedness and humanitarian response. It empowers local health workers, communities, and organizations to handle emergencies effectively.  This includes improving health care accessibility, early diagnosis and appropriate management to prevent from serious illness, death or disabilities, enhancing resilience, fostering collaboration, and addressing gaps in health care services. 

Capacity building consists of training and mentoring health workers on clinical skills, emergency management, infection prevention and control, mental health, etc. It also may require the provision of equipment and infrastructure and even review of policies and guidelines, among other measures. This process requires ongoing monitoring & evaluation and adaptation to changing circumstances.  

Emergency Hub Capacity Building Project  

The E-Hub (Emergency Hub) project of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders in Indonesia, focussing on capacity building for emergency preparedness and response, is designed, planned and implemented in partnership with the Health Crisis Centre of the Ministry of Health (MOH).  From 24 till 26 October, the team has conducted a three-day training for 34 health care professionals in the Lebak district, Banten province, covering topics like principles and components of medical emergency response, management of people with serious injuries, organisation of health care services to deal with mass casualties and required coordination between various health care services and actors involved. Facilitators included experts from MSF, Ministry of Health, Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center, and Junior Doctors Networks of Indonesian Doctors Association (JDN IDI)   



Andrea Ciocca, the project coordinator of E-Hub, in his opening remark, said, “MSF has been working in many countries for the past 50 years. With this knowledge, MSF in Indonesia is partnering with the Indonesia Ministry of Health’s Crisis Health Center. After following some discussions, we agreed to select four domains that we hope would help the training participants enhance their skills in emergency response.” He added that MSF will continue to work on more curriculums for more trainings in the coming year. 

MSF believes that the coordination during a health crisis cannot be emphasized enough. It plays a crucial role in preventing duplication, fragmentation and gaps in the health response. Moreover, it ensures adherence to high standards, accountability, and quality of care. 

A comprehensive training 

The training encompassed a variety of topics related to the management of medical emergencies. These included the concepts, principles and implementation of emergency response; the cluster coordination system; transversal healthcare in emergencies; organisation of health care services; safety protocols; injuries and their treatment; as well as initial assessment, stabilization, transportation/evacuation of patients; and mass casualty triage. 

A particularly detailed session was led by Albert Nomeri, S.Sos, who was the representative from the Health Crisis Centre of the MoH, focusing on the concept, principles and implementation of emergency response. This segment delved into the coordination mechanisms that engage different sectors and actors to deliver comprehensive and integrated services to affected populations. 

Furthermore, participants gained insights into the roles and responsibilities of various clusters, such as health; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; protection and education. The training emphasized the need for effective collaboration between these clusters and covered the principles and standards of transversal health care—an approach addressing the physical, mental, social, and environmental aspects of health in emergencies. 


Health clusters unite various actors to ensure comprehensive and integrated access and delivery of health care services, avoiding duplication and ensuring quality and accountability in response efforts. This collaboration across sectors ultimately improves health outcomes and saves lives. 

Participants praised the interactive training, which equipped them with new skills to enhance their performance in emergencies. In times of crises like pandemics, natural disasters, or conflicts, effective coordination among health clusters is crucial.