Cooperation Among Public Health Nurses in Municipalities and at Public Health Centers for Infection Control at Evacuation Shelters
Junko Kurita*, and Shinobu Yamaguchi**
*Department of Nursing, Faculty of Sports and Health Science, Daito Bunka University
560 Iwadono, Higashimatsuyama, Saitama 355-8501, Japan
**Department of Nursing, Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Ami-cho, Japan
Infection control is a task of public health centers during normal periods. However, the Japanese Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act requires municipalities to plan and prepare for disasters, including provisions for community health. This study was conducted to assess the cooperation among public health nurses associated with municipalities and public health nurses at public health centers on preparations for infection control at evacuation shelters. After choosing 548 of 1644 municipalities randomly, excluding municipalities that have public health centers, we sent questionnaires to the general directors of public health nurses associated with the municipalities and received responses from 199 municipalities. The questionnaire items assessed 1) cooperation with public health centers during normal periods and 2) disaster manual preparations. We classified municipalities as cooperative based on their responses to the first category of questions, and as prepared based on their responses to the second category. Cooperation with public health centers for infection control at evacuation shelters markedly increased the probability of planning manuals for infection control being prepared at evacuation shelters. The results suggest the importance of public health centers’ aggressive involvement in municipality preparations for infection control at evacuation shelters after a disaster.
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