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Background: Mid-way through the ‘Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030’, many nations are spending time, money and effort to enhance their level of preparedness facing disasters, on the other hand communities, countries and even continents are being left behind.
Objectives: This study was conducted aiming at evaluating the level of disaster preparedness and response of Tunisian University Hospitals.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional nationwide study conducted in Tunisia, from November 2020 to April 2021. Including 9 Tunisian University Hospitals and using the Hospital Safety Index. The data were analysed using the 'Module and safety index calculator'.
Results: This study showed that 7 out of the 9 University Hospitals were assigned the ‘B’ category of safety with overall safety indexes that ranges between 0.37 and 0.62. Also, 4 out of 9 University Hospitals had safety scores less than 0.20 regarding their emergency and disaster management.
Conclusions: This is the first study to evaluate disaster preparedness and response of university hospitals in Tunisia and in north Africa. It showed that the lack of knowledge, resources and willingness, are the most important issues that needs to be addressed in order to enhance the preparedness of Tunisian hospitals.
Keywords: Disaster preparedness; Hospital Safety Index; Tunisian University Hospitals; Scores.