Oslo, 4 February 2018—This month the WHO Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Secretariat internationally classified the teams of the Norwegian Directorate of Health—adding to the global number of self-sufficient teams ready to be deployed to health emergencies should the need arise.
Norway received classification for both Type 1 fixed and Type 1 mobile teams, meaning their teams have the capacity to provide outpatient care in both a fixed health facility that can serve over a hundred patients a day and through mobile teams which can access remote areas and provide outpatient services to over fifty patients a day. Norway is the third team in the world to receive international classification for a type 1 mobile team.
“We are very honored to receive this international classification following the years of hard work to strengthen our teams. After lessons learned from Ebola, it was so important to build our capacity to meet the minimum standards in order to ensure that we can provide quality and timely care when there is an emergency we can assist on.” Bjørn Guldvog M.D., Ph.D, Director General of Health/Chief Medical Officer of the Norwegian Directorate of Health
The Directorate of Health contributes actively to international efforts in the field of health and recognizes that the challenges related to health and living standards can best be resolved in collaboration with other countries. Such challenges include the prevention of infection and emergency preparedness and response. The team of Norway recently helped respond to the Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone.
“Norway is the first Scandinavian country to be classified and has specific capabilities to respond in subzero climates. Their classification is a significant contribution to emergency preparedness both in the Region and globally. We congratulate Norway on its achievements and are very grateful for their commitment to the classification process.” said Dr Ian Norton, Manager of the WHO EMT Secretariat during the verification visit recently conducted in Norway.
A global directory of all classified EMTs is held by the WHO EMT secretariat, to help speed up the mobilization and coordination of teams in the event of an emergency. Countries can call upon bilateral support from these teams, providing self-sufficient well trained groups of clinicians, field hospitals, response teams, and other forms of responders.
About the WHO EMT Initiative
In 2013, the WHO convened the global EMT community to develop an EMT classification system along with minimum quality standards and principles. Effective in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, West African Ebola, Earthquakes in Nepal and Ecuador and Cyclones in Vanuatu and Fiji, EMTs have saved thousands of lives and reduced disability. The WHO EMT initiative now means governments and populations affected by emergencies and outbreaks can be assured of a predictable, timely, and coordinated response by self-sufficient teams with well-trained health personnel