Role of Pharmacist in Disaster Management: Social Pharmacy Practical
Disasters — natural or man-made — occurring since the existence of human beings lead serious and negative outcomes in terms of health. Disaster consider a public health problem has been defined by World Medical Association as “A disaster is the sudden occurrence of a calamitous, usually violent, event
resulting in substantial material damage, considerable displacement of people, a large number of victims and/or significant social disruption or a combination thereof”.
United Nations’ of International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) defines a disaster as “calamity” or a “catastrophic” event that causes serious destruction in the functioning of a community or society with widespread human, material, economic, and/or environmental loss.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), natural hazards from emergencies impact approximately 190 million people directly, leading to more than 77,000 deaths annually. Furthermore, the WHO recorded 1200 outbreaks in 168 countries during the period 2012–2017, taking into account new or reappearing infectious diseases. In 1918, the H1N1 virus caused an influenza pandemic that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described as the harshest and most severe pandemic in recent history. It is estimated that this virus infected approximately one-third of the world’s population and caused more than 50 million deaths worldwide
Role of Pharmacist in Disaster Management
Pharmacists are serving for meeting the needs for drugs of the society and are trying to sustain such services in the events of disasters. They are uniquely positioned during disasters to provide healthcare continuity and medication management to affected communities. Pharmacists play a very important role
in the accurate determination, provision, and use of drugs which are of particular importance in terms of medical care used by disaster victims.
It has been acknowledged that pharmacists are the most widely distributed healthcare professional, being more accessible than supermarkets, banks, or medical centers
Pharmacists play an important role in disaster management, especially in providing essential medical care to affected populations. Some of the key responsibilities of pharmacists in disaster management include:
- Drug and supply management: Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that adequate supplies of essential drugs and medical supplies are available in disaster-affected areas. They also help to coordinate the distribution of these supplies to the people who need them.
- Clinical care: Pharmacists are trained to provide basic medical care, such as wound care and the administration of medications. They may also provide assistance with triage and the management of chronic conditions in disaster-affected populations.
- Education and training: Pharmacists can play an important role in educating the public about disaster preparedness and response, as well as providing training to other healthcare professionals on the appropriate use of medications and supplies in disaster situations.
- Collaboration with other healthcare professionals: Pharmacists work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to provide comprehensive care to disaster-affected populations. They also collaborate with public health agencies and other organizations to coordinate disaster response efforts.
- Mental health support: Pharmacists can play an important role in providing support to disaster survivors who may be suffering from psychological distress, such as anxiety or depression.
In conclusion, pharmacists play a critical role in disaster management, and their skills and knowledge are essential for ensuring the health and well-being of disaster-affected populations.
Broad range of pharmacists’ functions in disasters are as
Collaborate on medication management
Educate public about therapies
Act to prevent panic and fear
Discourage personal drug stockpiles
Monitor disease progression
Engage in one-on-one patient counseling
Tele-pharmacy and tele-health
Patient counseling and education at community level
Vaccination and immunization
Pharmacists play a crucial role in disaster management by providing essential medications and medical supplies to those affected by a disaster. They also help to ensure that people receive the right medications and dosages, particularly in emergency situations where access to medical records may be limited. Additionally, pharmacists can provide advice on the safe storage and use of medications during a disaster, and they can assist in the management of medication-related problems such as drug interactions and adverse effects. In large-scale disasters, pharmacists may also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and nurses, to provide comprehensive care to those in need.
FAQs on the Role of Pharmacist in Disaster Management
Pharmacists play a crucial role in disaster management by ensuring the availability of essential medications, providing medical support, and assisting in emergency response efforts.
Pharmacists can help by dispensing medications, ensuring proper storage and distribution, providing drug information, collaborating with healthcare teams, and assisting in the management of medical supplies.
Pharmacists help maintain the continuity of medical care by ensuring patients have access to necessary medications, preventing medication errors, and supporting healthcare professionals on the front lines.
Pharmacists work closely with doctors, nurses, and emergency responders to provide accurate medication information, address medication-related issues, and ensure proper medication administration.
Challenges include ensuring medication integrity, managing drug shortages, addressing language barriers, providing pharmaceutical care in austere environments, and preventing counterfeit drugs from entering the supply chain.
Pharmacists ensure medications are stored properly to maintain their effectiveness and prevent contamination. They also assist in establishing efficient distribution systems to reach affected populations.
Pharmacists help patients with chronic conditions by providing medication counseling, adjusting drug regimens if necessary, and ensuring a continuous supply of medications to manage health conditions.
Pharmacists educate patients and communities about proper hygiene, immunizations, and disease prevention measures. They may also provide essential medications to treat and control infectious diseases.
Pharmacists can offer emotional support and counseling to patients and their families, helping them cope with the stress and trauma of a disaster.
Pharmacists participate in developing medication-related emergency plans, stockpiling medications, and training healthcare personnel in proper medication management during disasters.
Pharmacists should have knowledge of emergency medication management, pharmaceutical supply chain logistics, patient communication, and the ability to work effectively in high-stress environments.
Yes, pharmacists with appropriate training and authorization can provide basic medical care, first aid, and administer vaccinations in disaster-stricken areas.
Pharmacists play a role in rebuilding pharmaceutical infrastructure, ensuring a stable medication supply, and providing ongoing healthcare support as communities recover.
Pharmacists review medication orders, verify drug interactions, and counsel patients to prevent medication errors, which is especially crucial in high-stress disaster situations.
Communities can involve pharmacists in disaster planning, educate the public about medication management in emergencies, and recognize pharmacists as essential members of the healthcare team.
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