Chapter

Planning for and responding to public health needs in emergencies and disasters

Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat and Roderico H. Ofrin

in Oxford Textbook of Public Health

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199218707
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199609673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199218707.003.0102

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Planning for and responding to public health needs in emergencies and disasters

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Natural and man-made disasters have cause significant harm throughout history. However, the frequency and level of devastation caused by disasters appears to be increasing. Disasters not only cause loss of life and property, but also cause tremendous psychological damage, affecting the society and culture of the area as well. Poverty increases the impact of disasters, and developing countries tend to suffer more. The impact of disasters can be mitigated by disaster preparedness planning. To be effective, disaster planning must involve the entire community and must anticipate the range of disasters to which the community is vulnerable. In the modern world, disasters in one region often affect other regions. Thus, there is a need not only for local and national disaster preparedness, but also for international preparedness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed the International Health Regulations (IHR-2005), which has been approved by all Member States, and has established the Benchmarks for Emergency Preparedness and Response. The Benchmark provides a framework for systematic monitoring of health systems that comprise preparedness for natural and man-made disasters.

Chapter.  8245 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Emergency Medicine ; Public Health

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