Many Asian countries are regularly affected by disasters and face their tragic aftermath. Some recent examples include the Indian Ocean tsunami, the earthquake in Pakistan, issues of internally displaced persons in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and cyclones in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. This not only leads to disruption of national health resources and leaves big gaps in the provisions of mental health services, but also raises the question of limitations in capacity building and lack of training facilities for mental health professionals, who are faced with a number of other challenges in their day to day practices.
The WPA, in its current Action Plan 2008-2011, places a lot of emphasis on training and capacity building, and Prof. Mario Maj, WPA President, has always emphasized the importance of training and developing resources to protect and support the mental health of communities during and after disasters and emergencies. This takes even more priority in low income countries, that require more support and assistance.
Looking at these directions of WPA President and following his Action Plan, the WPA Regional Meeting at Dhaka (January 21-23, 2010) will host a Training Course on Disaster Management. We expect that after this course the delegates will have general skills dealing with these situations in their respective countries. The training programme will also facilitate the sharing of expertise and information and build useful collaborations amongst mental health professionals in the region. The course will be delivered by Prof. Moty Benyakar (Argentina) and Prof. Arshad Hussain (USA).
For further details on the conference and the training course, please visit the website of the conference www.bap.org.bd.