Dr. Ian Norton1
Dr. Ian Norton
International Medical Teams; Have the Ebola and Nepal responses changed anything?

An Emergency Physician with post graduate qualifications in Surgery, International Health and Tropical Medicine Ian works for the World Health Organisation HQ in Geneva heading the new Foreign Medical Team Unit. Previously the director of disaster preparedness and response and the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Darwin, Australia, he led key developments in the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) initiative, in particular an innovative training programme for disaster response teams, and a fully self-sufficient capability for international field hospital deployment for the Australian Government. He has led Australian Government medical team deployments to the Ashmore reef boat explosion, Pakistan floods, Solomon Islands Dengue outbreak and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines including a 50 bedded surgical field hospital and tertiary referral trauma centre for Tacloban city within days of the storm. He is the lead author of the new WHO global classification and standards for Foreign Medical Team (FMT) deployment to sudden onset disasters which led to his appointment to the WHO. In that role he leads the development of a global registry of FMTs and the increasing role of WHO in their quality assurance and coordination. He was deployed for over 5 months to the West African Ebola outbreak 2014/15 and led the coordination of over 60 FMTs in three countries and the design and build of five large Ebola treatment centres in Monrovia, along with plans for building by the UK, US and WFP in the three worst affected countries. He led the coordination of 132 FMTs in Nepal during the earthquakes of April and May 2015. Lessons learned during these recent responses for a rapid and predictable international health response to all-hazards will reshape the FMT initiative along with the mechanisms of emergency health response within WHO, and is integral to the future of Dr. Norton’s portfolio at WHO.