The WHO Thematic Platform for Health Emergency Disaster Risk Management (H-EDRM) Research Group held their second meeting in Hong Kong on 6 July 2017 for core members to review the outcomes accomplished and provide some direction regarding the future development of the group. This meeting was attended in person by Prof Virginia Murray (Co-Chair; Public Health England), Dr Ryoma Kayano (WHO Kobe Center), Ms Gloria Chan (CCOUC) and other CCOUC staff representing the Secretariat, with Prof Emily Chan (Co-Chair; CCOUC), Prof Ali Ardalan (Tehran University of Medical Sciences) and Dr Alistair Humphrey (Canterbury District Health Board) joining via Skype. Prof Andrew Collins (Northumbria University and Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes) also joined the meeting as an observer.
The WHO Thematic Platform for H-EDRM Research Group provides an international multistakeholder and interdisciplinary platform to coordinate activities, promote information-sharing, develop partnerships, and provide technical advice to United Nations agencies to strengthen and develop the field of H-EDRM research. Since its establishment in September 2016, the group has collectively published five outputs on H-EDRM and the Sendai Framework (including a Lancet commentary and a joint short article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science), facilitated two oral presentations at international conferences, supported the updating process of the WHO Health-EDRM Fact Sheets, received official recognition in the WHO Statement delivered at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (hosted in Mexico in May 2017), and engaged 150 academics and government representatives interested in working with the group.
This meeting provided a critical platform for the group to discuss its strategy to further develop and facilitate the group, in addition to identifying potential research areas, future collaborative activities and avenues for funding.