Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disasters: A Practical Guide

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Benjamin Wisner, John Adams
World Health Organization, 2002 - Medical - 252 pages
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This volume distills what is known about environmental health during an emergency or disaster. It draws on results from the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, and on experience with sustainable development between the two Earth Summits, in Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg. It is intended for practitioners, as well as for policy-makers and researchers, and thus covers both general and technical aspects of environmental health. In Part I of this volume, a conceptual framework is presented for understanding environmental health issues in the context of disaster management. The framework covers the entire disaster-management cycle, from preparedness and warning, to recovery and prevention. Guidelines are also suggested for planning and reducing the effects of extreme events on public health, and practical guidance is given in organizational and logistical matters. Throughout, the need for flexibility and innovation at the local level is emphasized, combined with solid advance planning. There is also a focus on the vulnerability of populations during an emergency or disaster, with the implication that such people have capacities and local knowledge that should be integrated into efforts to secure both environment and development against extreme events. The creative potential of balancing "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches is emphasized in chapters on health promotion and community participation, and on human resources. Part II of this book is a detailed compendium of best practices and strategies for risk reduction and response in the fields of: ˇ Shelter and emergency settlements; ˇ Water supply; ˇ Sanitation; ˇ Food safety; ˇ Vector and pest control; ˇ Control of communicable diseases and prevention of epidemics; ˇ Chemical incidents; ˇ Radiation emergencies; ˇ Mortuary service and handling of the dead; ˇ Health promotion and community participation; and ˇ Human resources. This book will be useful in planning for, responding to, and recovering from the movements of displaced persons and refugees in humanitarian crises, as well as the floods, storms, earthquakes and other extreme events that could confront health workers in the first decade of the 21st century. Given trends in the 1990s, it is unlikely that humanity has seen the last of these challenges.
 

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Page xviii - Ten years ago, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro...
Page 202 - Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment.
Page 202 - To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment.
Page 71 - Livelihood is defined as adequate stocks and flows of food and cash to meet basic needs. Security refers to secure ownership of, or access to, resources and income-earning activities, including reserves and assets to offset risk, ease shocks and meet contingencies.
Page 162 - ... that produces and/or uses DDT shall restrict such production and/or use for disease vector control in accordance with the World Health Organization recommendations and guidelines on the use of DDT and when locally safe, effective and affordable alternatives are not available to the Party in question. 3. In the event that a Party not listed in the DDT Register determines that it requires DDT for disease vector control, it shall notify the Secretariat as soon as possible in order to have its name...
Page 202 - ... satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is therefore seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.
Page 247 - It shall also ensure the protection of personnel, equipment and materials brought into its territory by or on behalf of the assisting party for such purpose; (c) ownership of equipment and materials provided by either party during the periods of assistance shall be unaffected, and their return shall be ensured...
Page 71 - World Commission on Environment and Development (also known as the Brundtland Commission), sponsored by the United Nations. Within this report sustainable development is defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
Page xix - Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Page 246 - ... international organizations"). 2. A State Party requesting assistance shall specify the scope and type of assistance required and, where practicable, provide the assisting party with such information as may be necessary for that party to determine the extent to which it is able to meet the request.

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B. Wisner

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