Recent global trends suggest an increase in natural and manmade disasters. The current pandemic is one such disaster that proves the need for heightened awareness on disaster and has highlighted the need for effective disaster management systems. Such disasters often result in a breakdown in social systems and infrastructure services and therefore affects human development and the economy. In order to minimize impact of disasters it is vital that a context specific multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary – holistic disaster management interventions approach is adapted. Furthermore, using principles of disaster management minimizes the risk of hazards turning into a disaster and therefore reduces vulnerability and the cost involved.
The healthcare system of a country plays a pivotal role at times of disaster. Thus, integrating disaster management within the primary health care can be proved instrumental in the provision of optimal assistance through the existing primary healthcare network. Furthermore, an integrated approach would insist on psychosocial wellbeing of those affected and can be administered through the primary health care workers themselves.
Considering psychosocial interventions as an essential aspect of recovery, the author proposes incorporating a holistic approach in policy and praxis of broader domain of disaster management. Further, the paper provides an insight into early interventions and best practices based on past learnings of the author. Identifying Post traumatic stress as a possible outcome of those affected could minimize psychological impact in victims, survivors and responders in the context of a disaster. Moreover, the paper provides interventions based on John Hopkins’ R-A-P-I-D method which can be administered by primary health care workers. In addition to providing psychosocial interventions for those affected, the importance of self-care has been identified towards minimizing possible signs of burnout. The paper concludes with recommendations aimed at strengthening the primary health care system towards effective disaster management within the sector.