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Nepal’s emergency preparedness plan worked well – WHO

The emergency preparedness plans implemented by the Government of Nepal have ensured that key elements of the health sector remained ready and able to function during the recent earthquakes, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The practice of hospital retrofitting has been a core part of Nepal’s emergency preparedness plans and helped keep the largest hospitals in the capital city of Kathmandu working throughout the major earthquakes, UN News Center has written quoting WHO.

Retrofitting is a process which involves everything from repairing cracks in walls to installing seismic belts and roof bracing.

The first earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on 25 April and the second on 12 May measuring 6.8 couldn't disrupt  services at Kathmandu’s largest public hospitals, including Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), Patan Hospital, Civil Service Hospital, Birendra Army Hospital and the trauma centre at Bir Hospital. 

However, retrofitting alone is not sufficient for an adequate healthcare response in times of disaster, the WHO has warned. Capacity building and staff training is equally important.