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humedica: the third German organization certified by the WHO

Successfully completed examination after three-year training

by Steffen Richter

These days humedica can announce a remarkable achievement: We are the third German relief organization to pass successfully the examination by the World Health Organization WHO and to receive the official certification and combined classification as „Emergency Medical Team 1 fixed“. This is a very important step for our medical disaster relief work as it will become quite difficult for not-certified organizations in the future to get permits to enter countries, which are hit by disasters.

For humedica´s relief work this classification means a significantly higher effort: till date our internationally accepted medical intervention teams consisted of six members. The medical emergency relief team „EMT 1 fixed“ has to comprise at least 18 members, not less than three practitioners, three coordinators, nine nurses (including one midwife if possible) as well as three logisticians. After natural catastrophes, thus also in remote regions efficient emergency help can be provided without putting further strain on the scarce resources on site. As this classification also defines the standards of emergency aid, relief work in affected areas is more clearly regulated in the future: not-classified organizations will hardly be able to access disaster regions.

„You can say that this international process implements basic changes in disaster relief aid“, says Raphael Marcus, responsible field manager at humedica. „But with regard to the increasingly complex challenges these changes are both important and reasonable.”

The WHO developed and finally implemented the EMT classification as a consequence of the earthquakes in Haiti 2010, when at a guess about 600 international relief organizations streamed into the country without any coordination and caused temporarily shortages of the capacities on site. In the future the affected countries will cooperate with the WHO to request classified teams. This procedure will ensure that the emergency aid on site will follow certain standards and a coordinated approach for an efficient implementation.

„For three years we have intensively prepared the two-days examination by the WHO“, reports Raphael Marcus. „I would like to thank from my heart everybody, explicitly our great volunteers, who supported us during this long and demanding process“.

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