OH professionals have proved themselves invaluable to the UK aid effort for victims of the Asian tsunami disaster.
Dr Eileen Cahill-Canning, chief medical officer at the Metropolitan Police, was the person in charge of the OH role in Operation Bracknell, the UK policing response to the Asian tsunami.
Eight months on from the disaster, she told Occupational Health’s sister newspaper Personnel Today that OH nurses and physicians made a huge difference to the operation, with help ranging from the pre-selection of those most suitable for the task, to providing emotional and physical support in the disaster area.
“I wasn’t sure of the value OH could add, but by the end, I was amazed at the benefits we could offer,” she said.
OH staff briefed the volunteers on health hazards and other health issues, and even produced a booklet for officers to warn them of possible dangers.
“There were many cases of heat stroke, skin infections, and problems with hydration,” she added.