WHO Conference on the Health Aspects of the Tsunami Disaster in Asia
Phuket, Thailand, 4- 6 May 2005
This conference will be convened - at senior policy and expert practitioner level - by the World Health Organization, in co-operation with the Ministry of Public Health of the Royal Thai Government.
The conference will focus on the lessons learnt in the immediate health sector response to the December 2004 Asian tsunami disaster and during the early phase of recovery, in the broader framework of efforts undertaken by the affected countries supported by international assistance.
The specific objectives of the conference are to:
- review health sector experience with response and early recovery so as to determine successes and limitations ie. what was done well, and what could have been done better?
- identify lessons learnt for improving future health sector crisis response and recovery systems and processes ie. in what way can such future operations be better organised, and their technical components rendered more effective?
The conference will address these objectives from the perspectives of (a) national actions taken in response and recovery; (b) actions taken by the international assistance community - especially UN, donors, NGOs; (and, specifically WHO's actions).
The conference is expected to:
- identify recommended approaches and commitments for strengthening national capabilities for future health sector disaster response preparedness and disaster reduction
- build agreement among key international stakeholders on a better, joint system for the health response to disasters and crises
- generate positive appreciation among policy makers and the public of the health sector contribution to the tsunami assistance effort, with enhanced likelihood of future support for healthcare needs in disasters and crises
The conference papers and conclusions, reflecting the above outcomes, will be published and disseminated to guide future policy makers and programmers. Preliminary conclusions will be shared with the World Health Assembly later in May.