JOURNAL ARTICLE

Performance of district disaster management teams after undergoing an operational level planners' training in Uganda

Christopher Garimol Orach, Roy William Mayega, Vincent Woboya, Bazeyo William
East African Journal of Public Health 2013, 10 (2): 459-68
25130026

INTRODUCTION: Uganda is vulnerable to several natural, man-made and a hybrid of disasters including drought, famine, floods, warfare, and disease outbreaks. We assessed the district disaster team's performance, roles and experiences following the training.

FINDINGS: The disasters most commonly experienced by the district teams were epidemics of diseases in humans (7 of 12), animals (epizoonotics) (3 of 12) and crops (3 of 12); hailstorms and floods (3 of 12). The capabilities viewed most useful for management of disasters were provision of health care services (9/12) and response management (8 of 12). The capability domains most often consulted during the disasters were general response management (31%), health services (29%) and water and sanitation (17%). The skills areas perceived to be vital following the training were response to epidemics 10/12, disaster management planning 8/12, hazards and vulnerability analysis 7/12 and principles of disaster planning 7/12 respectively. Main challenges mentioned by district teams were inadequacy of finance and logistics, lack of commitment by key partners towards disaster preparedness and response.

CONCLUSIONS: The most common disaster experienced disasters related to outbreaks of diseases in man, animals and crops. The most frequently applied capabilities were response management and provision of emergency health services. The activities most frequently implemented following disaster management teams training were conducting planning meetings, refinement of plans and dissemination of skills gained. The main challenges were related to limited budget allocations and legal frameworks for disaster management that should be addressed by both central and local governments.

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