Towards health security : A discussion paper on recent by edited by Gerald Rockenschaub, Jukka Pukkila, and Maria

By edited by Gerald Rockenschaub, Jukka Pukkila, and Maria Cristina Profili.

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By edited by Gerald Rockenschaub, Jukka Pukkila, and Maria Cristina Profili.

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Additional info for Towards health security : A discussion paper on recent health crises in the WHO European Region

Sample text

Heat stroke, although widely underreported, was fatal in 10–50% of all cases and may lead to nervous system disorders in 20–30% of people. Deaths have been further attributed to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. 31 Contrary to expectations, hospital admissions for morbidity vary greatly, and no increase was detectable during the heat-wave. Who is most at risk? People with chronic debilitating diseases are more at risk. These include cardiovascular diseases, respiratory insufficiency, mental and nervous system disorders, blood and metabolic or endocrine gland disorders, diabetes and malnutrition.

WHO has been contributing to these objectives by: • providing technical support to local health authorities to strengthen health systems and public health programmes;  coordinating the IASC Global Health Cluster, comprising more than 30 international and • national organizations dealing with public health projects; and • implementing projects to strengthen the local health systems through capacity-building activities and public health interventions. Humanitarian and international recovery assistance is still required for reconstructing and rehabilitating state health facilities, for strengthening the main public health programmes (maternal and child health, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS, communicable disease surveillance, TB control, mental health and psychosocial rehabilitation and mine victim support) and for improving access to primary and specialized health care.

The Chernobyl accident was a human tragedy, resulting in large-scale displacement of populations: 116 000 people were evacuated from the areas surrounding the reactor in 1986, and after 1986 about 220 000 were relocated. It also contaminated vast land areas with a population of about 5 million people (70) and resulted in the loss of livelihoods. The people affected by the accident were confronted with a sudden situation they could not understand and against which they had no means of defence. The mental trauma suffered by those who had to be evacuated compounded an already intolerable situation, as many experienced the severing of links with their home and social networks.

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