Public Health and Disasters The World Disasters Report 2000 Focus on Public Health was prepared by

Public Health and Disasters

The World Disasters Report 2000: Focus on Public Health was
prepared by the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent
Societies This report summarizes statistics and global trends on the impact of
disasters, including economic damage, numbers of IDPs and refugees, and the
efforts to prevent excess of deaths In 1999, it notes, more people died, 34,000,
from flood disasters than any other natural disaster

“Natural and technological disasters between 1990 and
1999 affected on average 196000 people annually, and the last year alone
killed 80,000 people” This year’s report observes that most excess death,
by far, occurs due to preventable health conditions such as diarrhea, acute
respiratory infection, malnutrition and malaria, and not from drowning, being
crushed or other physical injury

“In 1999, 1000,000 people were killed by natural
disasters, but around 13000 died of infectious diseases” The report
examines how cutbacks in spending on health care and how recent trends in
drug-resistance among pathogens have led to a worldwide disaster of preventable
deaths from common diseases, where poverty and political isolation are the
prime risk factors

The Red Cross now promotes community-based care, for example
through training of mobile health volunteers who can spread prevention
strategies against diseases like diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, measles
and AIDS through initiatives such as “ARCHI 2010” — The African Red
Cross/Red Crescent Health Initiative of health volunteer networks

Another chapter articulates the need for a new
“international disaster-response law” (IDL), observing that
“there is (now) no definitive, broadly accepted source of international
law which spells out legal standards, procedures, rights and duties pertaining
to disaster response and assistance“

Question–Do you believe that there is not enough emphasis
on the public health impact of disasters in the planning for disaster and
emergency management in the United States? Please provide an appropriate
justification for your response in light of the Red Cross Report mentioned
above in approx 250 words and any references

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