Disaster Medicine Workshop – AMSA China, Hong Kong

Name of the activity: Disaster Medicine Workshop

Country/NMO: AMSAHK China, Hong Kong

Program: Emergency, Disaster Risk & Humanitarian Action

Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator

Type of the activity: Continuous Activity

Category: Capacity Building

Focus area: Disaster resilience (including prevention, preparedness and response), International humanitarian law

Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 13 (Climate Action)

Problem statement:

With an increasing number of disasters, increasing social, environmental and technological development can give rise to complicated disaster environments. For instance, from 1995-2015, 4.2 billion people were affected by the 5 most extreme natural disasters. If defenses fail, loss can greatly impact social and economic development, and ultimately quality of life. Hence, it becomes paramount that future medical practitioners are equipped with knowledge and skills related to disaster medicine. 

Target groups:

  • Medical students
  • Healthcare Students


  • General population
  • Medical students
  • Healthcare Students
  • Doctors
  • Other health professionals
  • People living in places at risk of disasters


  1. To enhance participants’ general knowledge about disaster medicine, particularly about response and recovery on a global scale. Relevant knowledge includes: knowledge in different types of disasters, principles involved in aiding recovery, e.g. METHANE report, triage, the use of psychological first aid, disaster management cycle, the 5S’s in hospital management, etc. 
  2. To disseminate knowledge on the roles that different global and local stakeholders have in responding to a disaster. This can be achieved through (1) introducing the role of International Humanitarian Law in armed conflicts, and (2) introducing the role of NGOs, e.g. MSF has in disaster settings. 
  3. To enable participants to apply and adapt the knowledge of disaster medicine into practice through a table-top simulation, where participants have to give immediate responses in a simulated disaster settings, such as working out the METHANE report, allocating resources and transportation vehicles wisely, etc. 

Indicators of Success:

For objective 1 and 2: Post-event evaluation forms are developed to assess participants’ understanding on specific knowledge as aforementioned pertaining to disaster medicine, and their understanding on the role of International Humanitarian Law and NGOs in disaster settings. For each area of knowledge, participants will need to indicate whether they can confidently explain or apply the knowledge on a scale of 1 (very not confident) to 5 (very confident). The activity is successful if 80% or above of the participants indicate 4 or 5 in all scales. 

For objective 3: A pre-set marking scheme is developed to assess participants’ performance in the table-top simulation. The marking scheme assess whether participants can apply all learnt knowledge and skills into practice (e.g. whether participants can complete the METHANE report effectively and correctly), each on a scale of 1 to 10. The activity is successful if 70% or above of the participants are given 7 or above in all ratings. 


As we aim to equip medical students with the necessary knowledge and skills to combat future disasters, this workshop includes a series of interactive sessions outlining the key concepts and theories of disaster medicine such as triage, pre-hospital management, hospital management and International Humanitarian Law. A Training Disaster Medicine Trainers (TdmT) trained helper was invited to host a session. There is also an opportunity to hear from our guest speaker from MSF, who shares her experiences in Yemen working as a nurse. To consolidate the participants’ knowledge and skills they have acquired over the 2-day workshop, they will participate in a disaster simulation to wrap up the activity. Hence, by the end of the workshop, participants will learn how to respond in times of disaster and adapt their management practices to minimize its traumatic impact on society.

Plans for evaluation:

We plan to analyze participants’ pre- and post-event evaluation forms to assess their understanding, knowledge and skills surrounding disaster medicine and how these have changed before and after the event. From our statistical analysis from last year’s workshop, 100% of participants who filled out the post-event survey understood triaging (including the use of color codes to categories victims of a disaster), the International Humanitarian Law, and the METHANE report. Whereas previously in the pre-event evaluation form, only 61%, 21% and 0% of our participants understood them respectively. In addition, SCORP committee members, alongside with a TdmT trained helper, will assess participants performance in the hands-on table top disaster simulation based on a pre-set marking scheme, and provide both quantitative ratings and qualitative feedback for them to reflect on their performance. 

External collaborations:

A humanitarian nurse from MSF (Doctors with Borders) was invited last year to give an online sharing about her experience working in Yemen, an area affected by disasters. 


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