8TH OCTOBER 2005 EARTHQUAKE – AN EXPERIENCE OF DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY SERVICES IN DISASTER
Diagnostic Laboratory Services in Disaster
Keywords:Earthquake, disaster management, field laboratory services, medical facility in field
An earth quack measuring 7.6 on Richter scale with its epicenter located at 19 km north east of Muzaffarabad struck eight districts of northern areas of Pakistan, and adjacent areas of India. An estimated death toll of about 73,338 was reported. Around +3.5 million people were affected by natural disaster. Such a large number of population required special attention in the form of winterized shelters, heating, medical care, food, water and sanitation. This situation posed a unique challenge for health services including provision of diagnostic laboratory services for short term as well as long term basis. Laboratory services were established at various locations as a part of medical care to provide diagnostic facilities as well as blood transfusion services. This article presents few important lessons learnt in this aspect of medical care.