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13/07/2020


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Data Resources Category
Data Resources Category A refereed Conference
Research Title NON STRUCTURAL SEISMIC VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CENTERS IN PALESTINIAN CITIES

Published by (sources)

First International Conference on MOLDAVIAN RISKS - FROM GLOBAL TO LOCAL SCALE 16-19 May 2012, Bacau, Romania

Carried out by (authors)

Jalal Al Dabbeek
Issue Year 2012
Abstract

Hospitals and health centers have a vital role to play in the event of a disaster. Considering this vital role, it is necessary that the hospitals themselves are prepared to withstand the initial damaging effects of a disastrous event. Therefore this study has targeted hospitals and health centers in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) as an important subject of emergency preparedness and thus promotes the “safe hospitals” concept in disaster risk reduction. This study comes under the auspices of the USAID-funded “Flagship project” that is reforming and developing the Palestinian healthcare sector.

 

Given the oPt lack both sufficient seismic awareness and a Palestinian Seismic Building Code, large amounts of activities, research and assessments have found that major parts of hospitals and health centers have high seismic vulnerability. This is of particular importance given the region is subjected to strong or moderately strong earthquakes. Therefore, considering the vital importance of keeping medical buildings safe and fully functional during disasters, nonstructural and structural damages should be avoided.

 

Several actions have been initiated in order to carry out the study of the major hospitals (three hospitals) and three health centers in the West Bank in the case of a strong or moderately strong earthquake. The following investigations and activities have been implemented:

-  A study to determine the seismic vulnerability of structural and non structural elements of the investigated buildings. The study showed that most of the common non-structural components have high vulnerability, this  includes partition walls, ceilings; windows; office equipment; computers; inventory stored on shelves; file cabinets; water tanks; generators; transformers; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment; electrical equipment; furnishings; lights etc.

- An assessment of safety conditions and a development of evacuation plans, including a plan of the hospital and its surrounding spaces.

- Meetings and workshops have been organized with decision makers, officials and engineers in the Ministry of Health (MoH).

 

 All of the assessed hospitals do not have the necessary safety requirements and need additional external exits and entrances. The hospitals are unevenly distributed and concentrated in certain areas of cities. This centralization of services will result in adverse consequences if subjected to natural disasters or war. In light of studies, the local challenges, and the economic and political situation in oPt, several recommendations accompanied by clear action plans have been advanced. These recommendations have focused on decreasing the seismic vulnerability of non structural elements and increasing the coping capacity of hospitals and health centers in the oPt. The conclusions of this study are the same as the challenges that now face the development of the Palestinian health sector, and involve the coupling of disaster risk reduction and sustainable development in accordance with the International Strategy of Disaster Risk Reduction (UN-ISDR), Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and Arab Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction 2011 – 2020.

 

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