This page provides an overview of the ISPRM Disaster Rehabilitation Committee (DRC), an ad hoc ISPRM committee which helps enact ISPRM’s humanitarian agenda by coordinating with the ISPRM WHO-Liaison Committee, member National Societies, other international professional rehabilitation societies, the World Health Organisation, and other organisations on disaster-related injury and disability.
Large-scale disasters result in significant mortality and disability due to the high incidence of traumatic disabling injuries and the disproportionately higher impact of disasters on persons with existing disability. Health and rehabilitation systems are often poorly developed in resource-scarce countries and regions where most large-scale, sudden onset disasters occur, resulting in further system compromise with critically reduced access and quality of available services. Moreover, limited integration of rehabilitation into the emergency medical response contributes to the burden of neglected rehabilitation needs following a disaster. Recovery and return of physical function and a high quality of life for affected individuals is especially challenging in a disaster.
Strategic goals of the DRC (as of publication of the August 2016 DRC Operational Guidelines) include to:
- Support ISPRM member National Society response to disasters
- Provide education and training resources on rehabilitation disaster management to members
- Host disaster rehabilitation programming at ISPRM congresses and other professional meetings
- Provide expert PRM consultation to WHO and other rehabilitation disaster management stakeholders
- Partner with WHO, other international rehabilitation professional societies, and other organizations to advance global disaster rehabilitation policy and practice
- Perform and facilitate disaster rehabilitation research.
The DRC provides technical resources and performs additional actions aimed at preserving the health, functioning, and quality of life of persons with disabilities across the disaster management cycle with particular emphasis on persons who sustain severe disabling injury in a large-scale, sudden onset natural disaster.
Read the DRC Operational guidelines (October 2021)
ISPRM Policy Statement: Response to a sudden-onset natural disaster (August 2016)