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Zambia is currently experiencing the worst cholera outbreak in over two decades. The acute diarrhoeal disease can be deadly if not treated, however with rapid and correct help, the majority of people affected can be treated successfully. The Centre for Health Crises as seconded members of staff to cholera outbreaks before, and on the 26th of January, Caroline de Groot went to Zambia, via the Centre’s collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
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The eastern mediterranean region is currently facing a brewing health crisis, brought on not least by the war in Gaza. The danger of spread of infectious diseases means that effective epidemiological surveillance and action is key. To assist in these efforts, the Centre for Health Crises has seconded epidemiologist Moa Herrgård via our membership in WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).
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Beyond surviving after an injury comes living. To what extent a person is able to return to the life and independence previously enjoyed is an important aspect of recovery and rehabilitation is often a crucial factor in that. Nonetheless, it is a factor often overlooked in humanitarian settings and it is an area where more research is needed. Bérangère Gohy’s PhD thesis looks beyond survival, to how recovery is measured and what the patients’ road to regained independence looks like.
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It began with a text message in the early hours of the morning. A few hours later he was on a plane to Morocco, reading the first reports and trying to start a secondary data analysis of the situation. Within the 48 hours after the earthquake, he was in the most affected region. He had barely gotten back from that mission, when he was asked to go to Libya and to do the same thing all over again, this time in a heavily flooded town.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends infants to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development, and health. But in some contexts, such as in a humanitarian emergency, adopting and maintaining optimal breastfeeding practices could be challenging. Unpacking what the challenges and opportunities of breastfeeding support in humanitarian emergencies are, and how to conduct such support effectively, is the topic of Nieves Amat Camacho’s PhD.
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Due to organisational adjustments at the department, Global Disaster Medicine – Health Needs and Response becomes a research group of its own from the 1st of October. However, they have already existed for more than twenty years, but in the form of a team called Centre for Research on Health Care in Disaster. In connection to becoming a research team, the name has also slightly changed, to present the group’s focus clearer.
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Lisa Strömmer is the new expert coordinator, in emergency surgery, at the Centre for Health Crises. She looks forward to, among other things, develop existing courses and work to make sure that emergency surgery as a competence is maintained in crisis preparedness, health crises and as a part of the total defense (Totalförsvaret).
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The Centre for Health Crises is currently supporting the WHO’s EMT (Emergency Medical Teams) initiative, through mentorship to the Ministries of Health in Georgia and Armenia in their development of EMTs. The director of the Centre, Professor Johan von Schreeb, has just returned from spending ten days in the two countries, working with the Ministries and other partners.
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KI’s only Erasmus Mundus Master programme, the Master programme Public Health in Disasters, will continue, following a renewed agreement between the three collaborating partners; KI, Universidad de Oviedo and the University of Nicosia. Course leaders look forward to continuing to provide students with the latest tools to work with public health in disasters and advance research in the field. And the new format of the programme allows for all students to come to KI.
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Lifestyles, the pandemic and dental care were some of the topics under discussion when Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health Jakob Forssmed visited Karolinska Institutet on 28 August, the same day as the autumn term kicked off.
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When the Minister for Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health Jakob Forssmed visited KI on Monday 28 August, he met, among others, the director of the Centre for Health Crises, Johan von Schreeb. During the meeting the Centre highlighted the need for national collaboration on the role of universities in crises, as well as a national ability (surge capacity), focused on people trained in handling health crises, to be ready when the crisis hit.
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The podcast Riskzonen, featuring well-known KI staff members Mattis Öberg and Emma Frans, is back with a new season! The four episodes were released in May and June, and after a brief break over summer, more episodes will now be released each Monday, starting on 28 August. Each episode features the topic health crisis, in one way or another, ranging from relief efforts in war to antibiotic resistance. The new season is made in collaboration with the Centre for Health Crises.
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Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Responses is part of a consortium led by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, called IPA Care, that aims to address the needs of countries on Western Balkan, along with Turkey, to strengthen their ability to prevent risks related to earthquakes and other health emergencies.
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Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Response at KI was represented in several ways at this year’s WADEM (the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine) congress, including with presentations and posters displaying new research conducted by the group.
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The third installment in the seminar series KI Contributes explored the health crises created by war and armed conflict, through the medium of visual art. An Armenian artist and a Swedish surgeon shared their experiences of war and how humans live through it and try to make sense of their difficult experiences.
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Maja Fjaestad is the latest in a line of expert coordinators that have been recruited to the Centre for Health Crises at KI. The LIME-researcher and former under-secretary of state will work in the expert field of policy and preparedness. She looks forward to contributing with a holistic outlook when it comes to health threats.
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Audience: Medarbetare
Global folkhälsa, Stålsby Lundborg, von Schreeb
The Centre for Health Crises at KI has published its first annual report, covering activities at the Centre during 2022. Since it is the centre's first year in operation, the report also outline the background to the establishing of the centre, the centre's organisational structure and introduces the staff.
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On January 26th, the Centre for Health Crises welcomed a distinguished panel of both national and international researchers and civil servants to the second KI Contributes seminar. The seminar featured short presentations and discussions around the complex issue of extreme heat, with a focus on how to shape and evaluate heat adaptation plans.
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The autumn semester of 2022 saw a new cohort of students arriving at KI to study the part of the Erasmus Mundus Master’s programme Public Health in Disasters, which is conducted by the Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters. One of the students who came to Stockholm is Bahaa, who is really enjoying his time at KI and in Stockholm.
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Representatives from centres within Stockholm trio met at KI for a breakfast meeting and a chance to engage in conversations about activities and collaborations within the topic of climate and health. The collaboration group on climate and health creates spaces and opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation in this wide and complex field.
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On the 1st of September Mattias Öberg began working 20% at the Centre for Health Crises. His role is to develop the centre’s work with chemical and toxicological health crises. This will be done through, among other things, monitoring, establishing networks, identifying educational and research gaps, as well as identifying how the centre best contributes to the field.
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Märit Halmin starts her new role as expert coordinator in the field of ’critical care with limited resources’ at the Centre for Health Crises on the 7th of November. Her role will be to coordinate and develop the centre’s operations within the field.
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Petter Ljungman, cardiologist, and Associate Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine is the new expert coordinator at the Centre for Health Crises in the field of extreme weather, climate, and health effects. Thereby the centre continues to expand its expertise in various health crises subject areas.
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During a visit to Sweden this week, WHO Europe’s director Dr Hans Kluge had time for a brief, but cordial, visit to KI. Dr Kluge met with Vice President Anders Gustafsson and the director of the Centre for Health Crises, Professor Johan von Schreeb, along with the centre’s strategic process leader Dr Anna Zorzet. The quartet talked about matters of common interest and about initiatives related to health crises in particular.
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We recognise the images of health care and medical staff in PPE. Maybe we have even experienced an outbreak of the disease where we have lived. But what is it actually like to work in an ongoing Ebola outbreak? Anneli Eriksson, specialist nurse and research specialist at KI, answers three questions about working in the ongoing outbreak in Uganda.
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Anneli Eriksson, research specialist at the Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters and a specialised nurse with extensive field experience, was on her way to Spain when she turned on her heel and instead headed straight to Uganda, to work in a coordinator role for Médecins sans frontières (MSF) Sweden in their efforts to assist in the current and ongoing Ebola outbreak in the country.
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On September 23, the Centre for Health Crises kicked off our seminar series KI Contributes, aiming at addressing contemporary health crises, with an interactive panel discussion on the health consequences of extreme heat. The focus was addressing a multi-layered health crisis with effects on both individual and public health.
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Hearing the word ‘war injury’, one might think of bullet wounds, torn off limbs or burns from explosions. And whilst injuries such as these certainly feature in the palette of suffering that war brings, the reality is more complex, and to some extent perhaps also less cinematic.
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Anna-Mia Ekström has been involved with the Centre for Health Crises since the very beginning and is now a part of its first steering group. Before the Centre was formed, she was a member of KI’s interdisciplinary resource team post COVID-19 (KIRP), and the task force that helped shape the centre. Just like with her many other engagements her aim is to make a difference, especially for the most vulnerable.
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The majority of cold wave related deaths occurred in middle-income countries followed by high-income countries, deaths were likely to occur during heat waves than cold waves or severe winter weather, in particularly in high-income countries and increased CO2 emissions can result in an increased number of deaths during severe weather events. That is the conclusion of a recently published study that looked at extreme weather events and deaths in the years 1999 to 2018.
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The Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters has had three articles published so far during the month of May. One covers the development of quality assurance tools for ICUs in Lebanon, whilst the other looks at the experiences of moral challenges among disaster health care responders, and the consequences thereof. The third reviews autotransfusion in low income areas.
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When others run away from bad things, Johan von Schreeb can be found dashing towards them. He has a wealth of experience in bringing order to chaotic situations – but as an administrator, he’s a complete disaster. Meet the professor who wants to control the health crises of the future.
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Six people, members of staff or affiliated, from KI went to Moldova on short notice to support the healthcare system there by conducting mass casualty exercises and training in triage and treatment of war wounds. The work was done through KI’s Centre for Health Crises, on a request from the WHO.
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Christine Fransman was looking for something new in her career and wanted to learn more about health care in disasters when she found the course Public Health Response in Disasters at Karolinska Institutet. She has a background in health science and works as a research manager in a hospital in her native Netherlands.
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The February sun was glittering in the glazed facades when Karolinska Institutet welcomed Minister for Education Anna Ekström on Monday 28 February. Meanwhile, the situation grew gloomier in Ukraine, which was demonstrated by, amongst other things, a lecture in disaster medicine.
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Johan von Schreeb, professor of global disaster medicine and director of the Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters at Karolinska Institutet, has been named director of KI’s newly established Centre for Health Crises. The aim is to create a center based on KI’s knowledge and capability, that finds connections between groups and people, with the aim of increasing preparedness for a new pandemic or health crisis.
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There has been a road traffic accident. Several cars, a lorry and a bus are involved. Almost a hundred people are injured, resources are limited, and the nearest hospital is a long way away. It might not look like that when a group of around ten teachers sit behind their computers at the Centre for Research in Health Care in Disasters at the Department of Global Public Health, but that is what has happened. Although, it has happened virtually, inside the computer.
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The students in the 2021/2022 year of the Erasmus Mundus Master programme Public Health in Disasters are about to complete their time in Sweden and move on. We spoke to Rickkye Gan and Collins Santhanasamy about what made them interested in the programme, what they have learnt and what they will take with them from their time in Sweden.
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Poverty and violence were already endemic even before an earthquake hit Haiti in mid-August. Thousands of people now live in informal camp sites in the capital Port-au-Prince. KI doctoral student and nurse Martina Gustavsson went there to work with Doctors Without Borders’ emergency response team.
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Johan von Schreeb, Specialist in General Surgery and Disaster medicine at the Karolinska Institutet, has been on site in Beirut for a couple of days now.
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Key factors for health systems to maintain health services when faced with challenges are collaboration, clear decision-making for health system workers as well as flexible response plans, according to a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet.
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With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and a healthcare sector under increasing strain, healthcare personnel can find themselves facing difficult situations and moral challenges. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University have recently published a paper in the journal Prehospital and Disaster Medicine precising what is known about moral distress, its risk and protection factors and likely implications. They also present suggestions about how the adverse effects can be mitigated.
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Karolinska Institutet’s Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters has been tasked by the National Board of Health and Welfare to arrange an education, training and practice package (e.g. on the handling of personal protective equipment) for medical personnel in connection with the Covid-19 outbreak.
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Johan von Schreeb is appointed Professor of Global Disaster Medicine at the Department of Public Health Sciences, from 15 October 2019.
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KI webbförvaltning
09-06-2023