Future humanitarian crises: Challenges for practice, policy, and public health

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

After more than three decades of preoccupation with wars and internal political conflicts, the humanitarian community has the opportunity to re-evaluate what humanitarian crises will dominate both policy and practice in the future. In reality, these crises are already active and some are over the tipping point of recovery. These crises share the common thread of being major public health emergencies which, with a preponderance of excess or indirect mortality and morbidity dominating the consequences, requires new approaches, including unprecedented improvements and alterations in education, training, research, strategic planning, and policy and treaty agendas. Unfortunately, political solutions offered up to date are nation-state centric and miss opportunities to provide what must be global solutions. Public health, redefined as the infra-structure and systems necessary to allow communities, urban settings, and nation-states to provide physical and social protections to their populations has become an essential element of all disciplines from medicine, engineering, law, social sciences, and economics. Public health, which must be recognized as a strategic and security issue should take precedence over politics at every level, not be driven by political motives, and be globally monitored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • disaster
  • future crisis
  • global health humanitarian crises
  • public health emergency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency

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