What sort of supplies are in a standard emergency health kit?

Online Q&A
20 November 2013

A: WHO has standardized medicines and medical supplies needed in emergencies to allow swift, efficient and effective response to the need for medicines and medical supplies. This has led to the supply of standard, pre-packed kits that can be kept in readiness to meet priority health needs in emergency.

WHO uses standardized medical kits of different profiles. They are primarily intended for affected or displaced populations without medical facilities. They can also be used for initial supply of primary health care facilities where the normal system of provision has broken down.

The most common emergency health kits are:

  • Interagency Emergency Health Kit 2011 (IEHK 2011) is designed to provide health centre coverage in natural disasters or complex emergencies when the health system is disrupted. It consists of two different sets of medicines and medical devices, named a basic unit and supplementary unit. IEHK has enough medicines to treat 10 000 patients for 3 months for common diseases.
  • IEHK basic unit contains essential medicines and medical devices (renewables and equipment) sufficient to ensure treatment for 1000 patients for 3 months for common diseases. It can be used by primary health care workers with limited training.
  • IEHK supplementary unitcontains essential medicines and medical devices (renewables and equipment) for 10 000 people for 3 months for common diseases and is to be used by professional health workers.
  • Inter-Agency Diarrheal Disease Kit (IDDK) provides renewable material, equipment and drugs to meet the needs of up to 700 patients with diarrhoea of different severity or cholera (100 severe cases, 400 mild cases and 100 adults and 100 children for Shigella).
  • Emergency trauma Kit A + Kit B provides renewable material and drugs to meet the needs of 100 patients requiring surgical care. Kit B is a complement to Kit A.
  • Surgical supply kit (SSK) designed to cover all requirements for disposables to treat 100 surgical interventions for 10 days, including surgical operations.

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