4047.0 Global Disaster Response - Integrating Across the Spectrum

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM
Across the spectrum of recent large-scale natural and man-made disasters across the globe, it has been evident that the health system status preceding the disaster is as much a predictor of the success and resiliency of the system post-disaster as the actual disaster response itself. From earthquakes such as in Haiti and Kashmir to tsunamis such as in Indonesia and, more recently, Japan, as well as the act of man-made terrorism most recently in Norway, it is evident that there is an important balance between the ongoing strength and capacity of a well-functioning health system vis-a-vis the investment in resources necessary for handling acute events. The need to address both aspects of a global system was ever-more evident during the 2009-2010 novel H1N1 global pandemic in which both ongoing systems issues were layered on top of the spread of an acute infectious disease. While acute disasters and the emergency responses that are required to handle them get much attention acutely, often it is the chronic more deliberative health systems strengthening (HSS) that is less evident in the global disaster realm. However previous work indicates that preparing a system on an ongoing basis is critical for how well that system is able to withstand an emergency that is now thrust upon it. In addition, the investment of resources required for maintaining both types of systems capabilities must be considered by global disaster planners as well as issues related to health equity, fundamental determinants of health, as well as system mitigation and preparedness efforts in order to ensure optimal community resiliency. In this session, expert panelists all of whom have completed work in some capacity in the global arena will provide their insights in the continuum of ongoing HSS as well as acute emergency events, how they relate and the considerations that must be given to both in preparing a global community for the next set of disasters to unfold. While the session will contrast the vastly different considerations on both sides of the spectrum in this global health work, it will also provide insight into how this work is both inter-related and complementary.
Session Objectives: *Compare issues involved in balancing ongoing health systems strengthening and capacity building with acute emergency response activities. *Demonstrate importance of differing but complementary skill sets necessary in both health systems strengthening and emergency response activities. *Describe continuum of planning necessary in global health response activities.
Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH
Nadine Levick, MD, MPH and Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services
Endorsed by: International Health, Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health