GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) held a brief certification ceremony on Friday for two international emergency medical teams (EMT) from China, bringing the total number of WHO-certified Chinese EMTs to five.
China International EMT (Tianjin) is set up on the basis of the National Emergency Medical Rescue Team from Tianjin People’s Hospital.
It has undertaken major medical missions during the 13th National Games of China held in Tianjin in 2017, as well as during the Tianjin warehouse explosions in 2015 which killed at least 139 people.
China International EMT (Macao SAR) was drawn from the staff of the Health Bureau and Fire Department of Macao SAR government. A total of 120 members were divided into four squads, each consisting of doctors, paramedics, pharmacists, engineers and logistics personnel.
The standard deployment of the whole team covers an area of 3,600 square meters with 41 tents.
It can diagnose and treat over 100 persons a day, and independently complete the clinical medical work for 14 days.
Since 2015, the WHO EMT Initiative has assisted organizations and member states to build capacity and strengthen health systems by coordinating the deployment of quality assured medical teams in emergencies.
It has focused on helping every country develop its own teams, which can arrive where they are needed in the shortest time.
By WHO definition, there are three types of EMTs. Type 1 should be able to provide outpatient initial emergency care of injuries and other significant health care needs; type 2 to provide emergency care including surgery, 24 hours a day; and type 3 to provide inpatient referral care and complex surgery.
The two Chinese EMTs from Tianjin and Macao SAR are classified as type 2 and type 1 team, respectively, according to WHO definition.
As of the end of April, the WHO has certified a total of 25 international EMTs from 15 countries. China and Germany are currently tied for the number of teams, with each contributing five EMTs.