The New Emergency Health Kit. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 010 (1990)
(1990; 2 pages)

The “New Emergency Health Kit” was evaluated and revised by the WHO, other United Nations agencies and other emergency relief organizations to address the need for streamlined drug donation following a natural disaster or other emergency. Drugs are often among the first requested materials during the emergency phase of disasters, but are usually inappropriate in some way upon arrival. The drugs are commonly expired, unsorted, dangerous, irrelevant or unfamiliar to health care workers. Due to these issues, an evaluation of the original Emergency Kit was done in 1987 to form the basis for a revised Kit. One major finding of the evaluation was that the emergency list of essential drugs was one of the most helpful resources for countries and helped to guide drug donations. The New Emergency Health Kit aims to provide a basic provision of drugs and medical supplies for populations with disrupted or nonexistent medical facilities in the second phase of an emergency. The Kit contains a Basic Unit, with drugs, supplies and equipment needed to run a small peripheral health unit, and a Supplementary Unit, with enough drugs and medical supplies for a population of 10,000 for three months. The Basic Unit is meant for health workers with limited training, and the Supplementary Unit is geared toward professional health workers or physicians. Treatment guidelines are included for both units. The total volume of the Kit is approximately 3.3 cubic meters and it weighs roughly 800 kg. It can be procured from many non-profit pharmaceutical suppliers.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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