IPSF APRO Corner is a project to provide our members with information and public-sharing knowledge from our RWG as they share their experiences from attending IPSF events, external events and meetings. Members will also get opportunities to be more familiarised with IPSF APRO activities. In 2019, in line with the IPSF APRO theme of Universal Health Coverage, Ms. Florensia Rahati Pujiani, the IPSF APRO Regional Relations Officer (RRO) and Ms. Adhani Praderika Nafila Winardi, the IPSF APRO Regional Projects Officer (RPO) had the opportunity to meet Dr. John Prawira from the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO), who currently is working under the Department of Emergency, to talk about emergency operations and its relation with Universal Health Coverage.
In simple terms, emergency operations can be divided into two phases, preparedness and response. “During preparedness, we develop contingency plans, we do simulations and training, and we develop guidelines and tools to be used when an emergency does happen. During the response phase when the emergency occurs, we provide clinical health services, logistics and the administrative matters”, said Dr. John Prawira
Universal Health Coverage is about having access to quality health services. This practice has to be applied during emergency preparedness and during the actual emergency by providing health facilities, supplies and services despite the overwhelming situations that can occur during emergencies.
A pharmacist has an important role as part of the emergency medical team, developing ways to deliver drugs and medical supplies and ensuring that they are safely delivered to the emergency site.
As a pharmacy student, we need to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and response and advocate for them. “In addition to preparedness, pharmacy students can also play a big role in emergency response based on the competency that each student has,” said Dr. John Prawira.
He added, “The students can be volunteers, either directly related to pharmacy in a big context or it can be related to other skills. For example, students can be involved in search and rescue, or in managing camps, based on their capabilities”.
To sum up, there are several ways where pharmacy students can volunteer and contribute to emergency preparedness and response based on their capabilities. It should be highlighted that it is also possible for pharmacy students to take part in sectors which is not directly related to pharmacy such as organising camps if they capable of doing so.
Ms. Natasha Christabella and Ms. Khairunissa Salsabila Luthfi