2014 Volume 233 Issue 1 Pages 43-48
As the impacts of natural disasters have grown more severe, the importance of education for disaster medicine gains greater recognition. We launched a project to establish an international educational program for disaster medicine. In the present study, we surveyed medical personnel and medical/public health students in the Philippines (n = 45) and Indonesia (n = 67) for their awareness of the international frameworks related to disaster medicine: the Human Security (securing individual life and health), the Sphere Project (international humanitarian response), and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (international strategy for disaster reduction). In both countries, more than 50% responders were aware of human security, but only 2 to 12% were aware of the latter two. The survey also contained questions about the preferred subjects in prospective educational program, and risk perception on disaster and disaster-related infections. In the Philippines, significant disasters were geophysical (31.0%), hydrological (33.3%), or meteorological (24.8%), whereas in Indonesia, geophysical (63.0%) and hydrological (25.3%) were significant. Moreover, in the Philippines, leptospirosis (27.1%), dengue (18.6%), diarrhea (15.3%), and cholera (10.2%) were recognized common disaster-related infections. In Indonesia, diarrhea (22.0%) and respiratory infection (20.3%) are major disaster-related infections. Water-related infections were the major ones in both countries, but the profiles of risk perception were different (Pearson’s chi-square test, p = 1.469e-05). The responders tended to overestimate the risk of low probability and high consequence such as geophysical disaster. These results are helpful for the development of a postgraduate course for disaster medicine in Asia Pacific countries.