This reports highlights the findings from a research project conducted by Jimma University, Ethiopia in response to the ‘Preparedness and Resilience Research’ small grants program (Phase I) implemented by Response 2 Resilience Institute and the Global Disaster Preparedness Center.
Disasters cause serious physical, mental, social, environmental, and economic crises. Disaster medical training, an integral part of efficient disaster preparedness, is vital to give health professionals comprehensive skills to prevent and alleviate disaster complications. This study aimed to assess health professionals’ knowledge of and attitude to disaster preparedness and response, factors associated with poor knowledge and negative attitude, and related training needs in southwest Ethiopia. The study used an institution-based cross-sectional survey. A sample of 404 health professionals from randomly selected districts were interviewed using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire. Results showed a gap in health professionals’ understanding of the concept of disaster and response to specific disasters. Most of the study participants had not received focused training on disaster preparedness and response.