2004 Tsunami in Indonesia: 13th Anniversary of Portugal’s Emergency Support Mission

Today the ANPC is marking the 13th anniversary of Portugal’s emergency support mission to Indonesia as a result of the tsunami that affected that archipelago and many other Indian states on December 26, 2004.

The former National Fire and Civil Protection Service, together with the General Directorate of Health, and the Portuguese Institute for Development Support, formed two support mission teams with the objective of intervening to reduce the risk of epidemics occurring in the country. The region of Banda Aceh in the northern part of Sumatra Island, was one of the most affected by the effects of the natural catastrophe.

The 1st mission team of four doctors, two nurses, two officers logistics ANPC and interpreter, left Portugal on a special flight to January 4, 2015 with 42 tons of drug load and a Field Hospital formed by six modules with different valences (total of 9 tons).

During the support mission in Aceh, the first team focused on 24-hour hospital care and travel to refugee camps to assess the epidemiological situation. About 1200 people were assisted, with predominant respiratory diseases, followed by skin problems, traumas and gastrointestinal problems.

This mission, expected to be completed in early February, ended up extending to the end of the month with a Portuguese team on the ground, given a wider and new strength. Five doctors, four nurses, four logisticians and two psychologists, were in Indonesia until February 23, not only to ensure the functioning of the Emergency Hospital, but also to provide support for psychological trauma, and to ensure rehabilitation of local health structures that were heavily affected by the catastrophe.

In this scope, at the end of the mission, Portugal ceded to the Indonesian authorities all the hospital equipment that constituted the Portuguese support structure.

The Portuguese teams concluded this mission with the recognition of the host country, and the Provincial Government of Aceh sent a thank-you note to the Portuguese authorities for the services provided. The merit of the professionals seconded in this mission was also graced by the Portuguese Government through public praise.


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