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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

UK-Med

HCRI has a formal agreement with the charity UK-Med to collaborate in the delivery of research, seminars, training and the sharing of best practice, knowledge and opportunities.

UK-Med logo

HCRI and charity UK-Med have formed a collaboration in the delivery of research, seminars, training and the sharing of best practice, knowledge and opportunities. UK-Med is a non-governmental organisation which aims to deliver high-quality emergency medical care to people affected by epidemics, conflict and natural disasters. UK-Med has been developing and deploying volunteer clinicians and allied healthcare professionals to support international emergency medical response since 1988.

UK-Med is a core partner in the delivery of the UK Emergency Medical Team (UKEMT) programme (previously including the UK International Emergency Trauma Register and the UK International Emergency Medical Register) funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). As part of this programme, UK-Med hosts registers of trained clinicians and allied healthcare professionals (medical, trauma and public health) within the UK-Med Community of Practice.

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Recent deployments

2019, Rwanda – Ebola Preparedness

UK-Med, supported by the Department for International Development, recently provided a team of clinicians to work alongside the Ministry of Health on Ebola preparedness in Rwanda, planning for the possibility of cross-border Ebola cases from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Ebola outbreak – the world’s second-worst ever – has seen over 2,750 cases in the east of the DRC since it started in August last year. In the last six months, the number of cases has increased dramatically and continues to do so.

The team was invited to observe live simulation exercises run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health, that provided valuable learning opportunities for local healthcare workers in managing a case of Ebola if a patient were to arrive at a general hospital. All members of the UK-Med team have worked inside Ebola Treatment Centres and are experienced in the continuation of vital non-Ebola healthcare services, and ways to mitigate the risk of infection to healthcare workers and other patients at facilities.

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2019, Mozambique – Health Response Coordination to Cyclone Idai

Having been hit by a Category 2 storm in March 2019, Mozambique’s president declared a state of emergency and filed an official request for international assistance. The UK’s Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) assessment and support team deployed UK-Med’s UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) alongside partners Humanity Inclusion (HI) and Fire and Rescue Service (FRS).

Despite the damage to local infrastructure, the team established eight mobile clinics and were able to treat up to 200 patients daily. The clinics met a wide variety of medical needs, ranging from low-level primary healthcare to malaria and pre and post-maternal health. Each clinic ran appointments relating to Sexual and Reproductive Health, Nutrition Screening (MUAC) and Education, consultation for general presentations, pharmacy and malaria screening and treatment – including issuing of malaria nets to those at high risk. There were fears of a large-scale cholera outbreak; however, the roll-out of a vast vaccination and treatment programme prevented this. More than 1200 vaccinators in around 300 sites reached more than 800,000 people in four high-risk districts in just six days.

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2017-2018, Bangladesh – Response to Diphtheria Outbreak

UK-Med supported the UKEMT deployment to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh to assist with an outbreak of Diphtheria disease in December 2017.

In 2017 more than 600,000 Rohingya people fled Myanmar and arrived in refugee camps on the outskirts of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Haphazard development of the camps had resulted in overcrowded conditions with poor sanitation facilities, factors which contributed to the spreading of the infectious respiratory disease. At the request of the Government of Bangladesh and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UKEMT was deployed for six weeks with two waves of clinicians providing surge support. Wide-scale vaccination programmes commenced and the UKEMT provided treatment to suspected cases within medical facilities provided by the International Organisation for Migration.

The deployment to Bangladesh was the first time the UKEMT had deployed since verification by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in December 2016.

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Past deployments

UK-Med has also deployed medical teams to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan, to Gaza in response to ongoing conflict, and to West Africa to tackle the threat of Ebola. You can find out more about other deployments here.

Reflections of UK medical deployees

Members of the medical teams deployed to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan reflect on their experiences as part of their efforts to deliver medical aid and treat those in need.

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