Strengthening Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Management in Swaziland

Charles von Huff
Co-Managing Director, Disaster Risk Reduction

Charles supported the government of Swaziland, Ministry of Health (MOH) which established a National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Programme, which serves as the directing and coordinating authority for health emergencies in country. The World Bank and the European Union (EU) jointly financed a project with the Government to improve access to, and the quality of health services in Swaziland, with a particular focus on primary health care, maternal health and TB.

By the year 2020, the Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response through its regional units and health institutions country-wide, are expected to take the lead in the transformation, coordination and implementation of an effective and efficient emergency preparedness & response, emergency medical services and disaster risk management for health in Swaziland.

The question that needed to be answered was whether leaders and managers in the department were instilling ownership for the managements’ goals at every level of the organization? And if not, how these goals would be realized. Charles conducted an in-depth assessment of the Management Practices & Strategies for the Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response and developed a 5-year Development Plan. As part of the assement and capacity development initiatives he also conducted Disaster Risk Reduction Training’s and Workshops including; Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP), Climate Change, Good Enough Guide, and Leadership Development.

The support provided was successful in building the capacity for the EPR Department within the framework of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan 2008, the Disaster Management Act and the National Health Policy. The consultancy also provided EPR Officials at all levels with practical skills and knowledge needed to ensure the success of the program and its development.