229360 Rapid selection and training of CHWs as active participants in relief efforts following the January 2010, Haiti earthquake

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jesse C. Bliss, MPH , School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Walleska I. Bliss, MPH , School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Andrea Champlin, MPH , School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
David T. Dyjack, DrPH , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Ryan Gene Gaia Sinclair, MPH , Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
Immediately following large-scale natural disasters, the spontaneous formation of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in conditions bereft of even the most basic necessities of life, poses an enormous public health emergency situation. Moreover, post-disaster relief efforts often lack sufficient personnel to attend to the myriad of public health issues, needs and concerns found in these IDP or refugee camps. Following the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, during an initial public health assessment and response deployment; a small five-person team was able to rapidly assess the health conditions in a large IDP camp of over 20,000 persons using CHWs from amongst the earthquake survivors. This presentation discusses the methods and benefits of using disaster victims from within IDP or refugee camps to quickly and effectively assess the public health status of the population and to establish rapid response mechanisms to address the immediate needs of the community. Survivors of such large-scale disasters have been subject to intense violence and high levels of associated morbidity and mortality, which leave many struggling with various symptoms and affects resulting from psychological trauma. This presentation will discuss the benefits of utilizing CHWs from within the affected population and how the participation and interventions facilitated by these individuals may play an important part in their own emotional health and recovery.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: Explain the benefits of utilizing CHWs from within an affected community as part of post-disaster relief efforts Describe how to identify and select CHWs from within an internally displaced person (IDP) or refugee camp and explain why it is important to use individuals living within the targeted relief areas. Discuss the psychosocial impact of organized community relief efforts and how the results of emotional health assessments of CHWs from the affected population compare to that of other individuals in the same community.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the Co-Director & Disaster Response Coordinator for the LLU Center for Public Health Preparedness. My undergraduate degree was in psychology and I have taught graduate courses in psychosocial models and interventions. For the past five years I have worked in Disaster Preparedness Training and Education and have Directed the Center for Public Health Preparedness for the past 3 and half years. Combined with my background in international health development, the work presented here is the result of a combined disaster and public health knowledge and practice background covering over 10 years.
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.