Thailand was the site of the third Global Meeting of Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs), which dealt with setting priorities, developing minimum standards of action in operational terms, possible collaboration with other initiatives, and strengthening EMT capacities at the local, national, and regional levels. Over 500 participants attended the meeting, including 55 from the Region of the Americas.
The meeting was a platform for the six regional EMT secretariats, along with representatives and delegates of other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), to discuss key matters and strategy for the progress of the EMT initiative. The main forum was attended by the Member States, and the plenary sessions focused on their efforts in two specific areas: implementing the medical information and coordination cell (CICOM) methodology and strengthening local response and regional EMT networks.
In relation to CICOM, there was discussion of the need to develop virtual and technological tools that facilitate information sharing and decision-making to guarantee early and safe medical care, improve coordination between ministries of health and EMTs, facilitate request/acceptance processes for accelerated EMT deployment, and map regional and national capacities (including EMTs, other response teams, and health care facilities).
Standardized online training platforms and/or programs will be developed to train professionals on the principles, technical aspects, and abilities required to be part of an EMT; to strengthen regional and/or national mechanisms and tools that facilitate early warning and information sharing among the Member States; and to create applications for the management of standardized electronic medical records that optimize the management of information in EMTs, especially in response to disease outbreak scenarios.
The regional group for the Americas was represented by the focal points of the Member States, as well as NGOs and key members from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, and the United States.