207828 Climatic Change and Natural disasters: Public Health Concern - A Review

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sukhjinder Kaur, BDS , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL
Shyam S. Jindal, BDS , Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, AIDS Prevention Program, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, North Miami, FL
Janvier Gasana, MD PhD , Environmental & Occupational Health, FIU Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Miami, FL

Due to climatic change, oceans are becoming an intimidation to the lives and property. Hurricanes and tropical storms make up of 46.3% of total catastrophe losses. Only floods accounts for 40% of natural disasters. These catastrophic losses caused by natural disasters have led to increasing calls for a shift in mitigation behavior.


We retrieved previous studies and databases from Medline, Pubmed (1995-2008) and then reviewed references of original articles. Studies concerned with Public Health and climatic change in association with disaster preparedness were included and thoroughly reviewed. Results were stratified on the basis of awareness about prevention during disasters and role of public health in achieving these goals.


Our study reveals that Public Health professionals along with other rescue agencies play an important role during disaster management. Various articles stressed on measures taken during disasters but little is discussed about the awareness regarding the mitigation measures adopted before disasters to prevent outbreaks and reduce mortality and morbidity. It was found out that children and pregnant women are more vulnerable to disease causing agents during this catastrophe. A significant association was found out between water-borne diseases and contaminated water (water containing leached chemicals from agricultural land).


Climatic change and natural disasters need proper management and preparedness to cope with the increase in fatalities and health effects. Good organization between Public Health, policymakers and mass media is strongly recommended for appropriate disaster management. There is also a need of focusing on children, pregnant women and other vulnerable populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify and strengthen the legal preparedness frameworks to manage before and after effects of disasters. 2. Develop a plan to prevent contamination of flood water with chemicals. 3. Discuss the problems associated with water to increase the awareness. 4. Identify the importance of mass media that provide the warnings beforehand.

Keywords: Disasters, Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently in my last semester of a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health. I also earned a dental surgery degree from India. I worked for 'My Safe Florida Home' project at International Hurricane Research Center where I performed data analysis & wrote a report on it. Hurricanes and mitigation measures were the main issues that lead me to write this review.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.