Use of the Automated Disaster and Emergency Planning Tool in developing district level public health emergency operating procedures in three East African countries

G C Orach, S Mamuya, R W Mayega, S J Tabu, J Kiguli, A Keim, D Menya, N Mock, G Burnham, J Killewo, W Bazeyo
East African Journal of Public Health 2013, 10 (2): 439-46

BACKGROUND: Sub-Saharan Africa is vulnerable to several natural and man-made disasters. We used the CDC Automated Disaster and Emergency Planning Tool (ADEPT) to develop all-hazards disaster management plans at district level in three eastern African countries.

METHODS: During July 2008-February 2011, we used the automated disaster and emergency planning tool to conduct training on disaster planning and management in the three east African countries namely Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We trained district disaster teams per country. We held 7 trainings in Tanzania, 8 in Uganda and 10 in Kenya respectively. The district disaster management teams trained comprised five district administrative personnel and a national Red Cross officer. The training took 5 days.

RESULTS: A total of 100 districts teams (40 in Uganda and 35 in Kenya and Tanzania respectively) were trained using the ADEPT and consequently 100 district disaster response plans were developed during 2008-2011. A total 814 district disaster team members from these districts were trained. Our experience has shown that the Automated Disaster Emergency Planning Tool is a relatively quick, easy, practical, participatory and inexpensive approach to developing emergency operating plans at the sub-national (district) level.

CONCLUSIONS: The ADEPT can be used relatively easily, quickly and inexpensively at the sub-national levels to develop emergency operating procedures to improve disaster management. Although the ADEPT enables district disaster response teams to generate their disaster response plans, the use of the ADEPT may be hampered by lack of computer skills and knowledge of MS computer programme by district personnel in resource limited settings.

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