Environmental Health during Disasters. Presenter: Shib Sekhar Datta Moderator: Prof. A M Mehendale . Framework of Presentation Rationale Importance of environmental health during disasters Technical Aspects Shelter and emergency settlements Water supply Sanitation Food safety
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Environmental Health during Disasters
Presenter: Shib Sekhar Datta
Moderator: Prof. A M Mehendale
Framework of Presentation
Fig: The disaster management cycle
Indian sub continent has been exposed to disasters from time immemorial
57% of the land vulnerable is to Earthquakes
28% is vulnerable to Droughts
12% is vulnerable to Floods
8% of the land is vulnerable to Cyclones
Susceptibility of various man made hazards
Priorities in the acute emergency phase include
In addition, environmental health workers are likely to be involved in providing:
Shelter and emergency settlements
(filtering, boiling, disinfecting, storing in closed containers, etc.).
(Providing temporary alternative sanitation facilities)
Situations demanding emergency water supply response
semi permanent emergency settlements.
It is common to find in rural areas that a significant proportion of water supply installations are out of order, owing to long-term problems with maintenance and repair.
(Intensive use of a small number of water supplies vulnerable to contamination)
Assessment of damage
Safe water needs
15-20 litres per day per person
20-40 litres per day per person
20-30 litres per day per person
40-60 litres per day per person
30 litres per day per cow or camel
15 litres per day per goat or other small animal.
Human waste: Faeces
(e.g. chlorinating water supply, providing hand-washing facilities)
The first priority is to isolate and contain faeces.
Mass feeding centers
Facilities needed at mass feeding centers
Vectors and diseases likely to be present in emergency settlements
Mosquitoes Malaria, yellow fever, dengue, viral encephalitis, Filariasis
HousefliesDiarrhoea, dysentery, conjunctivitis, typhoid fever, trachoma
CockroachesDiarrhoea, dysentery, salmonellosis, cholera
LiceEndemic typhus, pediculosis, relapsing fever, trench fever
Bed bugs Severe skin inflammation
Ticks Rickettsial fever, relapsing fever, viral encephalitis
Rodent (mites) Rickettsial pox, scrub typhus
Rodent (fleas) Bubonic plague, endemic typhus
Rodents Rat bite fever, leptospirosis, salmonellosis
(specially after flood, eg: Surat and Mumbai)
Leveling land, filling borrow pits and draining flooded areas, screening of water containers
Hygiene and personal protection
Vaccines, drugs (e.g. for prophylaxis)
Pesticides (e.g. in impregnated mosquito nets)
Promoted by qualified health staff and used under their guidance.
Sick and wounded, children, elderly, pregnant women and people who lack immunity (including relief workers), need additional protection.
Control of communicable diseases and prevention of epidemics
Preparedness and prevention
Public health surveillance and outbreak control
(serious water- and sanitation-related epidemic diseases)
(Histories/Contact identification/source of disease)
Flexibility to rescue team
Special incidents: Chemical and Radiation emergencies
Chemical incidents affect people in a number of ways:
Common measures to reduce the health risks of chemical incidents:
Mortuary services and handling of the dead
Disposal of animal dead body/ Caracas specially in flood situation
Health promotion and community participation
Public awareness raising /mobilization programmes play an essential part in reducing disaster vulnerability by:
From disaster and the effects of disaster.
Current initiatives (Indian perspective)
Functional Group 1: Hazard Mitigation
4 functional groups assigned with specific tasks are:
Functional Group 2: Preparedness and Capacity Building
Functional Group 3: Relief and Response
Functional Group 4: Administration and Finance
(National Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India)
(All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat)