THE new Health Emergency Management System (HEMS) division under the Davao City Health Office (CHO) aims to provide direct health assistance to victims of disaster, said HEMS division chief of operations Shianne Marco.

As part of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office for Health arm, HEMS will bring health management services to Dabawenyos in evacuation centers to monitor their health situation and give medical attention to the evacuees.

HEMS’ services include the WASH or Water Sanitation Hygiene program, a Nutrition Division that will monitor the nutrition status of evacuees, a medical team, a referral system for hospitalization cases, and psychosocial support.

“Sa evacuation center, we address to the needs of our evacuees. Naa’y tendency na magkasakit ang isa, mag takdanay gyo dna sila kay crowded or daghan ang tao sulod sa evacuation center (We will address the needs of our evacuees in evacuation centers since there is a tendency for the evacuees to get infected from each other when one person is sick because of the crowded area),” Marco said during a radio interview on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

HEMS will also focus on addressing emerging and reemerging disasters and diseases, including the Covid-19 response. Marco said HEMS was established during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic because there was a need for it.

“Namugna ang HEMS in the midst of the pandemic, nakita namo ang need. Nagsugod mi nga naa na ang problema so medyo nagkalisod mi but still namanage pud nato tanan (HEMS was established in the middle of the pandemic because we saw a need for it. It was challenging because we started in the midst of the crisis but we still managed to deliver),” Marco said.

Furthermore, HEMS can also intervene during disaster rescue operations in the city once the response cluster of the city government, such as the City Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), 911, Coastguard, Davao City Police, fire and barangay volunteers are overwhelmed.

“Makipag-coordinate mi if ever worse comes to worst, ma-overwhelm gyod atong manpower and resources, pwede mi dira mupasok (We will coordinate with the response cluster if ever worse comes to worst and they are in need of additional manpower and resources),” Marco said.

Since the division is newly-established, staff and responders of HEMS will undergo rigid training to deliver effective and swift responses to Dabawenyos in need.