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Body & Mind

Occupational therapy in disaster management

Published : Friday, 26 October, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1106

Occupational therapy in disaster management

Occupational therapy in disaster management

Disaster is a common issue in Bangladesh. Lots of people and people with disability are affected in many ways by natural disaster. Occupational therapists have a great role to rehabilitate disaster people.
Every year Bangladesh faces many natural disasters like drought, flood, water- logging, cyclone, and tidal surge, tornado, thunderstorm, river, salinity, extreme weather events etc.
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent-or live better with-injury, illness, or disability.
Occupational therapists provide rehabilitation services of disaster people in following stage:
Pre disaster
Occupational Therapist plays a important role in a disaster management team. Firstly occupational therapists identify possible problems which includes social, familial and environmental problem. Then occupational therapists make plan for possible problem. These plans include:
*    Risk and resource mapping
*    Design accessible shelter and home
*    Provide training for sensitivity around disability issues
*    Developing early evacuation plans
*    Establishing early warming
An occupational therapist can strengthen the resilience and building capacity to adopt in crisis situation especially for women, children and persons with disability. Taking actions to avoid the consequences of disaster must be built into community planning. Collecting, measuring, monitoring, evaluating inclusiveness and access to information should be an integral part of disaster risk reduction strategic planning (AOTA, 2006).
They also take part to community awareness on strategy and way-out regard advocacy related activities for persons with disabilities inclusion within ward and Union based disaster management committee.
Rabeya Ferdous Occupational Therapist National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital

Rabeya Ferdous Occupational Therapist National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital

During disaster
People are becoming afraid during disaster. They are suffering from different mental disorder like anxiety disorder, panic disorder and stress disorder. In this stage occupational therapists engage the people in different leisure activities for reducing their stress level. Besides occupational therapists are preparing volunteers for rescuing people with disabilities.
Post disaster
Occupational therapists can provide intensive rehabilitation and treatment to the injured and non-injured victims as because just after any incidence, people cross their life with physical and mental (ASD or PTSD) trauma/illness which interfered in their daily activities.
After disaster disable people have difficulty to do their daily activities. That time normal people may become disable due to accident. So, they are physically and mentally do not fit. In this situation, occupational therapists provide treatment for returns their previous life and help to make independent into their daily activities. Occupational therapist uses following treatment techniques:
*    Remediation
*    Psychological rehabilitation
*    Vocational training
*    Home modification
*    Adaptive devices
Moreover, occupational therapists can organize the healthy habits in displaced persons camps and in surviving communities to include persons with disabilities, women, elderly and children. They can create liaison with community leaders and others to reorganize community supports and routines use of everyday occupations including play and sports to facilitate recovery.


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