Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30663
Emergency Health Management at a South African University

Authors: R. Tandlich, S. Hoossein, K. A. Tagwira, M. M. Marais, T. A. Ludwig, R. P. Chidziva, M. N. Munodawafa, W. M. Wrench


Response to the public health-related emergencies is analysed here for a rural university in South Africa. The structure of the designated emergency plan covers all the phases of the disaster management cycle. The plan contains elements of the vulnerability model and the technocratic model of emergency management. The response structures are vertically and horizontally integrated, while the planning contains elements of scenario-based and functional planning. The available number of medical professionals at the Rhodes University, along with the medical insurance rates, makes the staff and students potentially more medically vulnerable than the South African population. The main improvements of the emergency management are required in the tornado response and the information dissemination during health emergencies. The latter should involve the increased use of social media and e-mails, following the Taylor model of communication. Infrastructure must be improved in the telecommunication sector in the face of unpredictable electricity outages.

Keywords: Public Health, Rural university, Taylor model of communication

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1747


[1] Rhodes University Calendar Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 2011.
[2] Rhodes University Emergency Management Plan (RUEMP). Estates Division, RU, Grahamstown, South Africa, 2011.
[3] South African Explorer Available at: distance/grahamstown_distance.asp (website accessed on 14th November 2012), 2011.
[4] Provincial Gazette Extraordinary Premier-s Notice: Declaration of the Provincial State of Drought. No. 2192. Bhisho: Eastern Cape Provincial Government, South Africa, 2009.
[5] South African Weather and Disaster Observation Service. N2 between Grahamstown and PE has collapsed due to flooding. Available at: html (website accessed on 14th November 2012), 2012.
[6] Grahamstown Now Record rains wreak havoc. Available at: (website accessed on 14th November 2012), 2012
[7] Grahamstown Now. Water restrictions now in place in Grahamstown. Available at: in-grahamstown (website accessed on 14th November 2012), 2009
[8] C. D. Luyt, W. J. Muller, R. Tandlich. Low-cost tools for microbial quality assessment of drinking water in South Africa. HealthMed, vol. 5(6) Supplement 1, pp. 1868-1877, 2011.
[9] R. Tandlich, C. D. Luyt, W. J. Muller. Project No. K8/806: Progress report as 2nd deliverable. Project report submitted as a deliverable to the Water Research Commission in April 2010, Pretoria, South Africa, 2010.
[10] D. M. Pyle. Severe convective storm risk in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. PhD thesis, RU, Grahamstown, South Africa, 2006.
[11] South African Local Government Association. Disaster Risk Management Status Assessment at Municipalities in South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, 2011.
[12] B. M. Zuma, C. D. Luyt, T. G. Chirenda, R. Tandlich. Flood disaster management in South Africa: legislative framework and current challenges. Published in the Peer-reviewed Proceedings from the 2012 International Conference on Applied Life Sciences (ICALS2012) Konya, Turkey from 10th until 12th September, pp. 127-132 (ISBN 978- 953-51-0725-5), 2012.
[13] C. D. Luyt, W. J. Muller, B. S. Wilhelmi, R. Tandlich. Health implications of flood disaster management in South Africa. Published in the peer-reviewed proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the International Emergency Management of Society held in Bucharest, Romania from 7th until 10th June 2011, pp. 376-385 (ISBN: 978-9-49- 029704-6), 2011.
[14] Z. Xu, P. E. Sheffield, W. Hu, H. Su, W. Yu, , X. Qi,, S. Tong (2012). Climate change and children's health-A call for research on what works to protect children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 9(9): 3298-3316.
[15] L. Y. Huang, Y. C. Wang, C. M. Liu, T. N. Wu, C. H. Chou, F. C. Sung, C. C. Wu. Water outage increases the risk of gastroenteritis and eyes and skin diseases. BMC Public Health vol 11, pp. 726, 2011.
[16] S. Kumpulainen. Vulnerability concepts in hazard and risk assessment. Natural and Technological Hazards and Risks Affecting the Spatial Development of European Regions (Philipp Schmidt-Thomé, Ed.). Geological Survey of Finland, Special Paper 42, pp. 65-74, 2006.
[17] K. Kautzky, S. Tollman. A Perspective on Primary Health Care in South Africa. Available at: (website accessed on 25th February 2013), 2008.
[18] Statistics South Africa. Municipal facts sheet (census 2011 data products). Available at: (website accessed on 14th February 2013), 2012.
[19] Makana Wetpaint. Staffing at the Settlers- Hospital in Grahamstown. Available at:'s+Hospital (website accessed on 10th February 2013), 2013.
[20] NSP Review. Corruption in the Eastern Cape. Available at: (website accessed on 14th March 2013), 2012.
[21] South African National Department of the Treasury. Integrated Development Plan: Cacadu District Municipality - 2010 Review. Available at: ment%20Plans/2010- 11/03.%20District%20Municipalities/DC10%20Cacadu/DC10%20Caca du%20-%20IDP%20-%20Part%209%20of%209%20-%201011.pdf (website accessed on 3rd December 2012), 2011.
[22] Kowie Catchment Campaign. Independent monitoring of Grahamstown's microbial tap water quality. Available at: (website accessed on 3rd December 2012), 2011.
[23] H. Van Niekerk, G. Sampson Hell Season or par for the Course: Tornadoes over the Eastern Cape 1998/99 Season, Internal Report Number OB/17, South African Weather Bureau, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, 1999.
[24] S. K. Mgquba. Changing perspectives: from "the natural" to "the vulnerable" and towards disaster management. BSc Honours thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1999.
[25] F. Wood. The snake in the sky: Tornadoes in clay and local narrative in the Hogsback-Alice area. Critical Arts Journal vol. 14(2), pp. 79-95, 2000.
[26] National Fire Protection Association. Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs Available at: (website accessed on 18th November 2012), 2007.
[27] Boston University. Boston University Research Compliance - Environmental Health & Safety: Emergency Response Planning. Available at: (website accessed on 18th November 2012), 2012.
[28] Heijmans, A. (2009). The social life of community-based disaster risk reduction: origins, politics and framing. Available at: (website accessed on 15th November 2012), 2009.
[29] A. Brodeur, M. Pergler. Top-down ERM: a pragmatic approach to managing risk from the C-suite. McKinsey Working Papers on Risk, Paper 22, McKinsey & Company, Washington, DC, USA, 2010.
[30] K. J. Tierney. Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States. "Where Do We Go From Here?" Joseph Henry Press, Washington DC, USA, p. 259, 2001.
[31] S. Charvat. College and University Disaster Planning: New Guidelines Based on Common Industry Principles and Practice. Available at: pdf (website accessed on 25th February 2013), 2013.
[32] B. W. Blanchard. Higher Education Project. Available at: (website accessed on 5th February 2013), 2005.
[33] Federal Emergency Management Agency. Developing and maintaining emergency operations plans: Comprehensive preparedness guide (CPG) 101 version 2.0. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington DC, USA, 2010.
[34] Standing Instruction for Emergency at RU Campus. Available at: nstructions/ (website accessed on 3rd March 2013), 2011.
[35] Emergency Contact Numbers for RU (2011). Available at: bers/ (website accessed on 3rd March 2013), 2011.
[36] J. Sutton, L. Palen, I. Shklovski. Backchannels on the Front Lines: Emergent Uses of Social Media in the 2007 Southern California Wildfires. Published in the Peer-reviewed Proceedings of the 5th International ISCRAM Conference, held in Washington, DC, USA, May 2008.
[37] Slippery Rock University. Emergency Operations Plan. Available at: EmergencyManagement.aspx (website accessed on 25th February 2013).
[38] Water crisis hits Makana. Available at: (website accessed on 14th February 2013), 2010.
[39] Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. South African Water Quality Guidelines, Vol. 1 (Domestic Water Use), Pretoria, South Africa, 1996.
[40] R. M. Kepner (2010). Efficiency of the emergency alert system. PhD thesis, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA.
[41] M. S. Taylor, W. Waung, M. Banan. Basic Data Communication Model, Internetwork Mobility The CDPD Approach. Available at: (website accessed on 11th February 2013), 1996.