Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organization have concluded that guidelines for the care of children in emergency situations need to be developed and distributed to international relief organizations.
The study highlights the fact that children under five have the highest mortality rates following armed conflicts, natural disasters, population displacements or famine situations. International agencies are less likely to have formal guidelines on managing neonatal problems; the diagnosis and management of children with HIV; active case-finding and treatment of tuberculosis; pediatric trauma; or the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems in children. Often guidelines are not adapted to the different types of health-care workers who provide care in complex emergencies. Evidence-based, locally adapted guidelines for the care of children in complex emergencies should be adopted by ministries of health, supported by WHO and UNICEF, and disseminated to international relief organizations to ensure appropriate, effective, and uniform care.
Read or download this study in the January issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization at www.who.int/bulletin/en/.
- Recognizing that the avian flu threatens the entire global community, Ministers of Health from the Andean Region pledged to strengthen mutual support mechanisms, including epidemiological surveillance and laboratory networks as well as create an ad hoc forum in which to exchange information and prepare a joint plan to face this public health threat.
- Cuba is slated to host the VII International Disaster Conference in Havana in June 2006. Complete information and agenda at www.loseventos.cu/.
- The Spanish Red Cross has an excellent Virtual Library that includes many Spanish-language publications related to emergencies and disasters. All can be downloaded in full text from www.cruzroja.es/