Johns Hopkins University and WHO Call for Guidelines for Children during Emergencies


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

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