Khaleej Times - 13/7/2006
The UAE will be a designated regional disaster management training centre if it implements the international disaster management training and response programme, according to Dr Adel Al Shameri, head of the National Programme for Health Professional Skill Development in the UAE.
He said around 60 medics, professionals, and administrators had undergone specialised training on how to respond to both man-made and natural disasters like explosions, traffic accidents and plane crashes.
While speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines the Abu Dhabi International Forum for Disaster Training which ended on Wednesday, Al Shameri underlined that the programme, if put into action, would help UAE become a regional centre for disaster management training.
''This training programme is being conducted in 54 centres in the US and this is the first time it is being held outside the US. Simulation technology was applied during the training programme in order to expose trainees to extreme pressure with the aim of maximising their efficiency and response and reflex capabilities to handle different types of disasters,'' he noted.
Held at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), the forum was organised by the National Programme for Health Professional Skill Development in the UAE in collaboration with the Centre for Mass Destruction Defence, the University of Georgia, the American Medical Association and the ECSSR.
The programme aimed to build upon the previous forum on the topic and to focus on following up the training of administrative, medical and vocational cadres in the UAE so as to thoroughly prepare them to deal with a range of disasters by using the most effective scientific and pragmatic methods.
He added that the trainees were picked from various departments to ensure better coordination skills among different competent authorities in their combat against disasters.
Al Shameri said that trainees would be given certificates from the Centre for Mass Destruction Defence. Outstanding trainees will be awarded certificates allowing them to get disaster response training at international level.
''Around 1,000 persons will undergo similar training during the year. The number of trainees is expected to rise to 2,000 and 3,000 by 2007 and 2008 respectively, he added.
Aida A. Al-Azdi, Deputy Director-General for Community Services, ECSSR, said the trainees had been introduced to several methods of dealing with different kinds of disaster and various strategies for combating them. This has been achieved via lectures and workshops given by a group of specialised international trainers.