Disaster Epidemiology and Risk – Epidemiology Example

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The paper 'Disaster Epidemiology and Risk' is a perfect example of a paper on epidemiology. It is a myth that dead bodies can cause disease outbreaks. The efforts to appease the public by conducting mass burial result in additional issues as the dead are not identified before burial. The legal, social and psychological implications of this is tremendous as relatives struggle to determine property ownership, inheritance and family benefits and are mostly denied the rights to conduct burials according to their local customs and beliefs. Discussion Questions: Why has the myth of dead bodies caused epidemics been so prevalent in almost all regions in the world? Why do dead bodies pose a lesser threat than survivors in a disaster situation? How do the media affect relief efforts in a disaster situation? Summary of an article by Vaughan & Tinker: Inappropriate communications and inadequate planning can significantly compromise the public health efforts to address the influenza pandemic among the vulnerable populations.

Investigators should work towards building the trust of vulnerable populations by keeping the socio-cultural, economic, psychological, and health factors that surround these populations in mind. Discussion questions: What are some ways to build the trust of the vulnerable populations to ensure compliance with public health efforts to address the influenza pandemic? Discuss some of the factors that influence compliance with public health messages. Discuss ways to improve health risk communications preparedness among the vulnerable populations. Summary of an article by Noji: It is very important to conduct a needs assessment so that appropriate resources are provided to the populations affected by a disaster.

Public health interventions should, therefore, focus on environmental health, communicable disease control, and epidemic management. Discussion questions: Discuss some of the myths and realities pertaining to natural disasters? What are some of the requirements for effective emergency medical and public health response? What are some of the challenges that can arise as a result of a lack of information regarding types of injuries and illnesses caused by disasters? Three websites providing information on disaster epidemiology and risk: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preparedness and Response for Public Health                       Disasters, 2012. Web. 13 Feb 2012.                        The Health Studies Branch of the CDC is involved in conducting surveillance, rapid needs assessments, and epidemiological studies. It also provides training to public health professionals in the area of disaster epidemiology.

It also provides expertise and leadership to local, federal and international partners to help them prepare and respond to various types of public health disasters. Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters.   Goals and Objectives, 2009. Web. 12                       Feb 2012.  The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters promotes research, training and information dissemination on disasters with special focus on public health, epidemiology, structural and socio-economic aspects. This international organization helps to prepare for public health emergencies by studying the burden of disease and health issues arising from disasters. Ready Campaign.

Are You ready? Guide. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Aug. 2004.                       Web. 12 Feb. 2012.  This website prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gives a comprehensive guide for citizens to prepare themselves for disasters. It also offers several opportunities to volunteer with community organizations.  

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