Nepal is ranked as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. The country suffers from a range of geophysical and hydro-meteorological hazards with the loss of hundreds of lives. Nepal is in the most seismically active regions in the world, the risk of a major earthquake always looms large on the country and is ranked 11th in terms of risk from earthquake and 30th in terms of flood risk (global report on disaster risk, 2003). Earthquake, floods, landslides, lightning, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), avalanche, epidemics often occur causing enormous physical damages and losses of human lives. Annually, the country suffers from a range of geophysical and hydro-meteorological hazards with the loss of hundreds of lives. Being one of the most seismically active regions in the world, the risk of a major earthquake always looms large on the country.
The main responsibility of HEOC will be to coordinate with the NEOC at all times for any health related disaster response. For example, in a mega disaster, NEOC will be the commanding center with high level committee including Secretary from the Ministry of Health and Population. In case there is any need for health related human resources, materials or hospitals, then the Health Minister / MoHP will call HEOC for data on any health related resources and if required will mobilize it in coordination with NEOC.
Current assessments on the seismic vulnerability of the capital city (Kathmandu Valley) suggest that occurrence of intensity IX earthquake would result in 100,000 deaths, 300,000 injured, and more than 1.5 million people displaced. One of the most devastating earthquakes in the recent past (1934: magnitude 8.4) caused serious damages to around 60% of the buildings and killed 8519 people, out of which 4269 were from the Kathmandu Valley – capital of the country (SAARC Workshop Report on Earthquake Risk Management 8-9 October 2009). Moreover, various seismic assessment conducted by Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), WHO and other highlighted that 80% of the health facilities demonstrated weakness in their physical infrastructure which will lead to the interruption of critical and lifesaving medical intervention during and immediately after emergency. Such numbers pose a critical challenge to the health services of the country, equally in rural and urban context.