Planning officials from the Republic of Afghanistan recently met with students in the Master of Health Sciences 560 course, taught by Uwe Reischl, to share information and ideas about international disaster preparedness planning. The visitors provided an overview of programs established in Afghanistan that focus on community responses to earthquakes, flooding and droughts – many of which could be applied to Boise and the northwest region.
The discussion highlighted the challenges associated with providing medical services, temporary housing, clean water and food during the chaos of natural disasters. Students were able to identify international differences and similarities in the functions assigned to local, regional and national agencies tasked with delivering disaster preparedness and response services.
The Afghan visitors were hosted by the U.S. Department of State Visitor Leadership Program in Washington, D.C. This program offers professionals worldwide the opportunity to meet with their U.S. counterparts for the purpose of exchanging information and ideas relevant to their areas of expertise. The program in Idaho is coordinated by the Idaho Council for International Visitors, which partners with Boise State University in many of the International Visitor Leadership Program activities.