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Open Access Short Report

Primary Health Centre disaster preparedness after the earthquake in Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Ahmad Fuady*, Trevino A Pakasi and Muchtaruddin Mansyur

Author Affiliations

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:81  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-81

Published: 25 March 2011

Abstract

Background

The West Sumatra earthquake that occurred on September 30, 2009, caused severe damage in some districts, including Padang Pariaman. As Padang Pariaman is an earthquake-prone area, disaster and emergency management is necessary. Due to the limited health facilities, the health services completely rely on Puskesmas (Primary Health Centres, PHCs). This study is aimed at assessing the preparedness of PHCs to response to potential disasters in their surrounding area.

Findings

Padang Pariaman district was used in a case study setting to assess the readiness and preparedness of the PHCs there to face disasters. Self-administered questionnaire, key informant interview, and direct observation were used to obtain the data on human resources, facilities preparedness, and the procedures. The investigation focused on measuring four aspects, i.e. human resources, facilities preparedness, standard operating procedure (SOP), and policy. Due to the limited co-operation of the head of the PHCs, three PHCs were directly observed as a subsample. The evaluation was performed six months after the impact phase of the earthquake and three months after the PHCs' health staff training on improving the primary health care services. The number and quality of health staff in Padang Pariaman was far below ideal. Fewer than half of the PHCs had emergency facilities and only one considered the need for triage and fire management, whereas the transportation mode was still limited. An SOP and policy for facing disasters were not available in any of the PHCs. Therefore, promoting disaster preparedness, technical provision, including health staff training, is necessary.

Conclusions

Padang Pariaman district has not yet prepared its PHCs to face disaster, so it is apparent that PHCs' disaster preparedness in Padang Pariaman and also other earthquake-prone areas in Indonesia should be promoted. This should include increasing the number of doctors, providing training for health staff, and developing a comprehensive approach as well as coordination among government, hospitals, PHCs, and NGO's for disaster preparedness.