Strategies for Communicable Diseases Response After Disasters in Developing Countries
Koffi Isidore Kouadio, Taro Kamigaki, and Hitoshi Oshitani
Department of Virology, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University
2-1 Seiryou-machi Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
Communicable diseases represent a public health problem in developing countries and especially in those affected by disasters, necessitating an appropriate and coordinated response from national and international partners. The importance of rapid epidemiological assessment for public health planning and resources allocation is critical. Our review assesses the communicable diseases after natural disasters and conflict and describes a comprehensive intervention strategy towards their control. Several factors that promote disease transmission after disasters interact synergically, facilitating the occurrence of communicable diseases outbreaks. Diarrheal diseases, Hepatitis, Measles, Meningitis, Acute Respiratory Infection, Malaria were commonly described after natural disasters and conflicts situations. Tularemia, Lassa Fever, Pneumonic Plague were mainly described after conflicts. Other diseases including Diphtheria, Influenza and Pertusis has been less documented in disaster and refugee settings, but have potential to spread rapidly in overcrowded situations. These outbreaks may be avoidable by appropriate planning and intervention. Adequate shelter and sanitation, water and food safety, appropriate surveillance, immunization and management approach as well health education will be strongly required towards the reduction of morbidity and mortality. In addition further research is needed to improve intervention strategies as well as in the area of early warning system.
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