Thursday, March 17, 2011

Emergency midwifery response to international disasters

Ever since the Haiti earthquake and now the Christchurch and Japan disasters, I have been wondering what I can do, as a midwife, to help.... both in practical and virtual terms. And now, there is this question left on the Virtual International Day of the Midwife Facebook Page from Takako Takeuchi

"I am safe personally, but there are many victims in north eastern region of Honshu and it must include babies, mothers and pregnant women. So if you know, please give them useful ideas how to survive and manage the crisis on Facebook, Twitter, and so on"

Questions about midwifery response to disaster
So I am left with a few questions I wonder if people could help answer - I have had a brief look at the ICM and WHO websites but I have found it quite difficult to find information that helps answer my questions.
  • Is there a strategy for a midwifery response to international disasters, and where can I find it?
  • Is there a central point that coordinates midwifery responses to international disasters?
  • Is anyone looking at the role of social media in the midwifery response to international disasters?
  • Does anyone know of any organisations or individuals who are using social media to filter midwifery information to victims of international disasters?
Starting an international discussion
I am thinking about facilitating a discussion or forum about midwifery and international disasters for the Virtual International Day of the Midwife on the 5th May - I am especially interested in developing strategy etc around virtual responses to disasters. For example, after the Haiti earthquake, there was a campaign to provide virtual resources to a school of nursing/midwifery who had been demolished - volunteers were unable to take textbooks to Haiti because of weight allowances on aeroplanes.

Already there are organisations that do this sort of work in a more general context such as Crises Commons - I am pondering if midwifery could do with a similar approach.

If you have expertise or interest in this area or know someone who does, please let me know if you'd like to join the live discussion about this on the Virtual International Day of the Midwife on the 5th May, and/or be on the discussion panel.

Image: 'Earthquake in Haiti'


Anonymous said...

good plan - even just an informed set of statements from informed mws re what to do if birthing in crisis/natural disaster type conditions...this was a noticeable gap....

Sarah Stewart said...

Like that idea, Rae..thanks :)

Found this resource...wondering if we could have a midwifery equivalent: Resources related to the 2011 Japan Crisis

Sarah Stewart said...

Here is a great article by Joyce Seitzinger, talking about the use of Twitter in a natural disaster: Social media use in a crisis – #eqnz – which hashtag prevails?