Disasters constitute a major public health challenge as they can have direct and indirect consequences on the health of the populations and consequently impact health systems. After a disaster, governmental and relief organizations must identify the priorities needed for orientating actions in order to limit the health consequences at short- and long-term Health risk assessment and epidemiology can be useful tools to obtain information for such a task. Through case studies of three European countries (France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), this study describes and compares how these countries have applied epidemiological methods in post-disaster management. The methodology was primarily based on a literature review and direct exchanges through email, telephone and videoconference. The results show that even with management differences, in all three examples similar structures and methods were put into place and that epidemiology teams had to deal with similar key point issues, such as the importance of obtaining adequate and timely environmental samples, how to best take into account the populations points of view and needs, the difficulty of finding and enrolling a significant proportion of the population in the studies, how and where to find reference levels for comparison, etc. The identification of these specific challenges has enabled the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS) to strengthen its existing ties with the Dutch Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in the UK. Future meetings are planned to continue this exchange process and develop future collaborations to improve the health impact assessment after a disaster in France and the other countries. (R.A.)
Auteur : Sala Soler M, Pirard P, Motreff Y
Année de publication : 2012
Pages : 40 p.