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Special Issue "Public Health and Disasters"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David Eisenman

1. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2. Center for Public Health and Disasters, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: disasters; community resilience; climate and health; heat-health events

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on public health and disasters in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is an online, peer-reviewed, scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences, disasters and public health. For detailed information on the journal, please visit https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

The literature in public health and disasters has increased in quantity in the last fifteen years driven by research on more frequent and severe climatic events (typhoons, heat waves, flooding), emerging infectious diseases, global climate change and the rise of terrorism in many countries. Changing emphases in public health and disasters across the world have produced new frameworks for research and operations. Disaster resilience has left its infancy as a concept and is maturing to have defined interventions, methods of study, cross-sector interventions and research, metrics and measurements. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is guiding public health away from a reactive disaster planning cycle (mitigate, prepare, respond, recover) towards a systems-wide approach to causation, prevention and recovery. A U.S. National Academies of Science workshop on the subject of DRR identified that DRR concepts remain nascent in US public health planning strategies while DRR strategies are being implemented throughout the global health sphere (see the UN’s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015).

This journal is a particularly appropriate venue to highlight community resilience and DRR since both are informed by emergency management, public health, climate change adaptation, social equity and environmental justice. This issue will highlight new approaches that have been applied in these areas as well as research at the nexus of community resilience and DRR. It is also open to empirical studies in any subject area related to public health and disasters. Data-driven research papers, including qualitative research using rigorous methods are sought. Evaluations, analytical reviews, conceptual framework, and policy-relevant articles are also invited.

The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. David Eisenman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Community Resilience
  • Climate Change Effects and Adaptation
  • Communication and Coordination
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Environment
  • Mental Health
  • Mass Media
  • Metrics and Measurement
  • Public Health Practice
  • Risk Communication
  • Sustainable Programming
  • Terrorism
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Seasonal Floods on Health: Analysis of Six Years of National Health Data and Flood Maps
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040665
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (10605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There is limited knowledge on the effect of seasonal flooding on health over time. We quantified the short- and long-term effects of floods on selected health indicators at public healthcare facilities in 11 districts in Cambodia, a flood-prone setting. Counts of inpatient discharge [...] Read more.
There is limited knowledge on the effect of seasonal flooding on health over time. We quantified the short- and long-term effects of floods on selected health indicators at public healthcare facilities in 11 districts in Cambodia, a flood-prone setting. Counts of inpatient discharge diagnoses and outpatient consultations for diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, skin infections, injuries, noncommunicable diseases and vector-borne diseases were retrieved from public healthcare facilities for each month between January 2008 and December 2013. Flood water was mapped by month, in square kilometers, from satellite data. Poisson regression models with three lag months were constructed for the health problems in each district, controlled for seasonality and long-term trends. During times of flooding and three months after, there were small to moderate increases in visits to healthcare facilities for skin infections, acute respiratory infections, and diarrhea, while no association was seen at one to two months. The associations were small to moderate, and a few of our results were significant. We observed increases in care seeking for diarrhea, skin infections, and acute respiratory infections following floods, but the associations are uncertain. Additional research on previous exposure to flooding, using community- and facility-based data, would help identify expected health risks after floods in flood-prone settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluating Community Partnerships Addressing Community Resilience in Los Angeles, California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040610
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community resilience has grown in importance in national disaster response and recovery efforts. However, measurement of community resilience, particularly the content and quality of relationships aimed at improving resilience, is lacking. To address this gap, we used a social network survey to measure [...] Read more.
Community resilience has grown in importance in national disaster response and recovery efforts. However, measurement of community resilience, particularly the content and quality of relationships aimed at improving resilience, is lacking. To address this gap, we used a social network survey to measure the number, type, and quality of relationships among organizations participating in 16 coalitions brought together to address community resilience in the Los Angeles Community Disaster Resilience project. These coalitions were randomized to one of two approaches (community resilience or preparedness). Resilience coalitions received training and support to develop these partnerships and implement new activities. Both coalition types received expert facilitation by a public health nurse or community educator. We also measured the activities each coalition engaged in and the extent to which partners participated in these activities at two time points. We found that the community resilience coalitions were initially larger and had lower trust among members than the preparedness communities. Over time, these trust differences dissipated. While both coalitions grew, the resilience community coalitions maintained their size difference throughout the project. We also found differences in the types of activities implemented by the resilience communities; these differences were directly related to the trainings provided. This information is useful to organizations seeking guidance on expanding the network of community-based organizations that participate in community resilience activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessArticle
Mortality and Morbidity during Extreme Heat Events and Prevalence of Outdoor Work: An Analysis of Community-Level Data from Los Angeles County, California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040580
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heat is a well-recognized hazard for workers in many outdoor settings, yet few investigations have compared the prevalence of outdoor work at the community level and rates of heat-related mortality and morbidity. This analysis examines whether heat-related health outcomes occur more frequently in [...] Read more.
Heat is a well-recognized hazard for workers in many outdoor settings, yet few investigations have compared the prevalence of outdoor work at the community level and rates of heat-related mortality and morbidity. This analysis examines whether heat-related health outcomes occur more frequently in communities with higher proportions of residents working in construction, agriculture, and other outdoor industries. Using 2005–2010 data from Los Angeles County, California, we analyze associations between community-level rates of deaths, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations during summer heat events and the prevalence of outdoor work. We find generally higher rates of heat-related ED visits and hospitalizations during summer heat events in communities with more residents working outdoors. Specifically, each percentage increase in residents working in construction resulted in an 8.1 percent increase in heat-related ED visits and a 7.9 percent increase in heat-related hospitalizations, while each percentage increase in residents working in agriculture and related sectors resulted in a 10.9 percent increase in heat-related ED visits. The findings suggest that outdoor work may significantly influence the overall burden of heat-related morbidity at the community level. Public health professionals and healthcare providers should recognize work and employment as significant heat risk factors when preparing for and responding to extreme heat events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle
Resilience of an Earthquake-Stricken Rural Community in Southwest China: Correlation with Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030407
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities have given growing attention to building community resilience, but the effects of such efforts on community resilience are still under-investigated, especially in China where the concept of community resilience has only just emerged. Using the Communities Advancing Resilience [...] Read more.
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities have given growing attention to building community resilience, but the effects of such efforts on community resilience are still under-investigated, especially in China where the concept of community resilience has only just emerged. Using the Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit Assessment Survey, data on self-perceived community resilience were collected in 2017 from a post-disaster Chinese rural community in Yingxiu Town, which was the epicenter of the Wenchuan earthquake (Magnitude = 8.0) in the year 2008. Linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the correlations between residents’ DRR behaviors and perceived community resilience with the control of their socio-demographic characteristics including age, ethnicity, gender, education, income level, employment status and marital status. Results indicate that residents who volunteered for DRR activities, received geological disaster education, participated in evacuation drills, and reported higher income levels had a perception of higher community resilience. Practice research is suggested to help clarify the cause and effect of DRR work on the enhancement of community resilience to disasters in China and abroad. Attention is also called to the development of a Chinese indigenous community resilience concept and assessment instrument. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessArticle
Psychological Distress and Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya Symptoms Following the 2016 Earthquake in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121516
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
On 16 April 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck coastal Ecuador, resulting in significant mortality and morbidity, damages to infrastructure, and psychological trauma. This event coincided with the first outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) and co-circulation with dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus [...] Read more.
On 16 April 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck coastal Ecuador, resulting in significant mortality and morbidity, damages to infrastructure, and psychological trauma. This event coincided with the first outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) and co-circulation with dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV). We tested whether the degree of psychological distress was associated with the presence of suspected DENV, CHIKV, ZIKV (DCZ) infections three months after the earthquake. In July 2016, 601 household members from four communities in Bahía de Caráquez, Manabí Province, Ecuador, were surveyed in a post-disaster health evaluation. Information was collected on demographics, physical damages and injuries, chronic diseases, self-reported psychological distress, and DCZ symptoms. We calculated the prevalence of arbovirus and distress symptoms by community. ANOVA was used to compare the mean number of psychological distress symptoms between people with versus without suspected DCZ infections by age, gender, community and the need to sleep outside of the home due to damages. The prevalence of suspected DCZ infections was 9.7% and the prevalence of psychological distress was 58.1%. The average number of psychological distress symptoms was significantly higher among people with suspected DCZ infections in the periurban community of Bella Vista, in women, in adults 40–64 years of age and in individuals not sleeping at home (p < 0.05). The results of this study highlight the need to investigate the interactions between psychological distress and arboviral infections following natural disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Who Participates in the Great ShakeOut? Why Audience Segmentation Is the Future of Disaster Preparedness Campaigns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111407
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: In 2008, the Southern California Earthquake Center in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program launched the first annual Great ShakeOut, the largest earthquake preparedness drill in the history of the United States. Materials and Methods: We collected [...] Read more.
Background: In 2008, the Southern California Earthquake Center in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program launched the first annual Great ShakeOut, the largest earthquake preparedness drill in the history of the United States. Materials and Methods: We collected online survey data from 2052 campaign registrants to assess how people participated, whether audience segments shared behavioral patterns, and whether these segments were associated with five social cognitive factors targeted by the ShakeOut campaign. Results: Participants clustered into four behavioral patterns. The Minimal cluster had low participation in all activities (range: 0–39% participation). The Basic Drill cluster only participated in the drop, cover and hold drill (100% participation). The Community-Oriented cluster, involved in the drill (100%) and other interpersonal activities including attending disaster planning meetings (74%), was positively associated with interpersonal communication (β = 0.169), self-efficacy (β = 0.118), outcome efficacy (β = 0.110), and knowledge about disaster preparedness (β = 0.151). The Interactive and Games cluster, which participated in the drill (79%) and two online earthquake preparedness games (53% and 75%), was positively associated with all five social cognitive factors studied. Conclusions: Our results support audience segmentation approaches to engaging the public, which address the strengths and weaknesses of different segments. Offering games may help “gamers” gain competencies required to prepare for disasters. Targeting the highly active Community-Oriented cluster for leadership roles could help build community resilience by encouraging others to become more involved in disaster planning. We propose that the days of single, national education campaigns without local variation should end. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Starting to Drink and Psychological Distress, Sleep Disturbance after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster: The Fukushima Health Management Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101281
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the prevalence of newly-started drinkers and their continuing drinking behaviors after the Great East Japan earthquake. Moreover, the relationships between newly-started drinking and psychological factor, disaster-related experience, and perceived radiation risk were examined. We used data from [...] Read more.
This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the prevalence of newly-started drinkers and their continuing drinking behaviors after the Great East Japan earthquake. Moreover, the relationships between newly-started drinking and psychological factor, disaster-related experience, and perceived radiation risk were examined. We used data from 37,687 pre-disaster non-drinkers who participated in the 2012 and 2013 surveys conducted in Fukushima. We defined newly-started drinkers as those who did not drink before the disaster but who began drinking after the disaster, based on information collected retrospectively. In 2012, 9.6% of non-drinkers began drinking, of which the prevalence of heavy drinkers was 18.4%. The prevalence of continued drinking among newly-started drinkers in 2013 was 53.8%. Logistic regression analyses revealed post-disaster newly-started drinking was significantly associated with being male, less than 65 years old, sleep dissatisfaction and psychological distress (Kessler 6 ≤ 13) when this model was adjusted for disaster-related experience and perceived radiation risk. Moreover, psychological distress and heavy drinking were significant risk factors for continued drinking among newly-started drinkers. Newly-started drinkers might use alcohol to cope with disaster-related stress. Thus, they may be targeted for disaster-related health services. Moreover, early intervention should encourage responsible drinking, since post-disaster heavy drinkers were likely to continue heavy drinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle
How Do Communities Use a Participatory Public Health Approach to Build Resilience? The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101267
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community resilience is a key concept in the National Health Security Strategy that emphasizes development of multi-sector partnerships and equity through community engagement. Here, we describe the advancement of CR principles through community participatory methods in the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience [...] Read more.
Community resilience is a key concept in the National Health Security Strategy that emphasizes development of multi-sector partnerships and equity through community engagement. Here, we describe the advancement of CR principles through community participatory methods in the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience (LACCDR) initiative. LACCDR, an initiative led by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with academic partners, randomized 16 community coalitions to implement either an Enhanced Standard Preparedness or Community Resilience approach over 24 months. Facilitated by a public health nurse or community educator, coalitions comprised government agencies, community-focused organizations and community members. We used thematic analysis of data from focus groups (n = 5) and interviews (n = 6 coalition members; n = 16 facilitators) to compare coalitions’ strategies for operationalizing community resilience levers of change (engagement, partnership, self-sufficiency, education). We find that strategies that included bidirectional learning helped coalitions understand and adopt resilience principles. Strategies that operationalized community resilience levers in mutually reinforcing ways (e.g., disseminating information while strengthening partnerships) also secured commitment to resilience principles. We review additional challenges and successes in achieving cross-sector collaboration and engaging at-risk groups in the resilience versus preparedness coalitions. The LACCDR example can inform strategies for uptake and implementation of community resilience and uptake of the resilience concept and methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Public Health Risks and Impact of a Tornado in Funing, China, 23 June 2016: A Retrospective Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101201
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 24 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 October 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1937 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
(1) Background: Tornadoes are one of the deadliest disasters but their health impacts in China are poorly investigated. This study aimed to assess the public health risks and impact of an EF-4 tornado outbreak in Funing, China; (2) Methods: A retrospective analysis on [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Tornadoes are one of the deadliest disasters but their health impacts in China are poorly investigated. This study aimed to assess the public health risks and impact of an EF-4 tornado outbreak in Funing, China; (2) Methods: A retrospective analysis on the characteristics of tornado-related deaths and injuries was conducted based on the database from the Funing’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Funing People’s Hospital. A change-point time-series analysis of weekly incidence for the period January 2010 to September 2016 was used to identify sensitive infectious diseases to the tornado; (3) Results: The 75 to 84 years old group was at the highest risk of both death (RR = 82.16; 95% CIs = 19.66, 343.33) and injury (RR = 31.80; 95% CI = 17.26, 58.61), and females were at 53% higher risk of death than males (RR = 1.53; 95% CIs = 1.02, 2.29). Of the 337 injuries, 274 injuries (81%) were minor. Most deaths occurred indoors (87%) and the head (74%) was the most frequent site of trauma during the tornado. Five diseases showed downward change-points; (4) Conclusions: The experience of the Funing tornado underscores the relative danger of being indoors during a tornado and is successful in avoiding epidemics post-tornado. Current international safety guidelines need modification when generalized to China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle
Disaster Governance for Community Resilience in Coastal Towns: Chilean Case Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091063
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (15440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to further our understanding of a characteristic of Community Resilience known as Disaster Governance. Three attributes of Disaster Governance—redundancy, diversity, and overlap—were studied in four coastal towns in southern Chile that are at risk of tsunamis. Overall, we explored how [...] Read more.
This study aimed to further our understanding of a characteristic of Community Resilience known as Disaster Governance. Three attributes of Disaster Governance—redundancy, diversity, and overlap—were studied in four coastal towns in southern Chile that are at risk of tsunamis. Overall, we explored how different spatial structures of human settlements influence Disaster Governance. Using the Projective Mapping Technique, the distribution of emergency institutions (N = 32) and uses given to specific sites (e.g., for refuge, sanitary purposes and medical attention) were mapped. Content and GIS analyses (Directional Distribution and Kernel Density Index) were used to explore the dispersion and concentration of institutions and uses in each town. Disaster Governance was found to be highly influenced by decisions taken during regional, urban, and emergency planning. Governance is better in towns of higher order in the communal hierarchical structure. Most of the emergency institutions were found to be located in central and urban areas, which, in turn, assures more redundancy, overlap, and diversity in governance in the event of a tsunami. Lack of flexibility of emergency plans also limits governance in rural and indigenous areas. While the spatial relationships found in this study indicate that urban sectors have better Disaster Governance than rural and indigenous sectors, the influence of resource availability after tsunamis, the role and responsibility of different levels of governments, and the politics of disaster also play an important role in Disaster Governance for determining Community Resilience. These findings shed light on emergency planning and aspects of the Disaster Management cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Disaster Food and Nutrition from Urban Agriculture: A Self-Sufficiency Analysis of Nerima Ward, Tokyo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070748
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (9312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Post-earthquake studies from around the world have reported that survivors relying on emergency food for prolonged periods of time experienced several dietary related health problems. The present study aimed to quantify the potential nutrient production of urban agricultural vegetables and the [...] Read more.
Background: Post-earthquake studies from around the world have reported that survivors relying on emergency food for prolonged periods of time experienced several dietary related health problems. The present study aimed to quantify the potential nutrient production of urban agricultural vegetables and the resulting nutritional self-sufficiency throughout the year for mitigating post-disaster situations. Methods: We estimated the vegetable production of urban agriculture throughout the year. Two methods were developed to capture the production from professional and hobby farms: Method I utilized secondary governmental data on agricultural production from professional farms, and Method II was based on a supplementary spatial analysis to estimate the production from hobby farms. Next, the weight of produced vegetables [t] was converted into nutrients [kg]. Furthermore, the self-sufficiency by nutrient and time of year was estimated by incorporating the reference consumption of vegetables [kg], recommended dietary allowance of nutrients per capita [mg], and population statistics. The research was conducted in Nerima, the second most populous ward of Tokyo’s 23 special wards. Self-sufficiency rates were calculated with the registered residents. Results: The estimated total vegetable production of 5660 tons was equivalent to a weight-based self-sufficiency rate of 6.18%. The average nutritional self-sufficiencies of Methods I and II were 2.48% and 0.38%, respectively, resulting in an aggregated average of 2.86%. Fluctuations throughout the year were observed according to the harvest seasons of the available crops. Vitamin K (6.15%) had the highest self-sufficiency of selected nutrients, while calcium had the lowest (0.96%). Conclusions: This study suggests that depending on the time of year, urban agriculture has the potential to contribute nutrients to diets during post-disaster situations as disaster preparedness food. Emergency responses should be targeted according to the time of year the disaster takes place to meet nutrient requirements in periods of low self-sufficiency and prevent gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiovascular diseases among survivors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Towards Improved Linkage of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Health: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040793
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change and climate-sensitive disasters significantly impact health. Linking Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) is essential for addressing these ever present, complex and increasing risks. Recent calls have been made to build these links in health. However, there is [...] Read more.
Climate change and climate-sensitive disasters significantly impact health. Linking Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) is essential for addressing these ever present, complex and increasing risks. Recent calls have been made to build these links in health. However, there is a need to clearly articulate why linking DRR and CCA is important in health. Furthermore, little is known about how DRR and CCA should be linked in health. By extensively examining relevant literature, this review presents the current state of knowledge of linking DRR and CCA in health. This includes the potential for maximising conceptual synergies such as building resilience, and reducing vulnerability and risk. Additionally, technical and operational synergies are identified to link DRR and CCA in health, including: policy, Early Warning Systems, vulnerability and risk assessment, health systems strengthening, infrastructure resilience, disaster preparedness and response, and health impact pathways. Public health actors have a central role in building these links due to their expertise, work functions, and experience in addressing complex health risks. The review concludes with recommendations for future research, including how to better link DRR and CCA in health; and the opportunities, challenges and enablers to build and sustain these links. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessReview
Beyond Disaster Preparedness: Building a Resilience-Oriented Workforce for the Future
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121563
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enhancing citizens’ and communities’ resilience is critical to adapt successfully to ongoing challenges faced by communities, as well as acute shocks resulting from disasters. While significant progress has been made in this area, several research and practice gaps remain. A crucial next step [...] Read more.
Enhancing citizens’ and communities’ resilience is critical to adapt successfully to ongoing challenges faced by communities, as well as acute shocks resulting from disasters. While significant progress has been made in this area, several research and practice gaps remain. A crucial next step to advance resilience is the development of a resilience-oriented workforce. This narrative review examines existing literature to determine key components of a resilience-oriented workforce, with a focus on organizational structures, training and education, and leadership models. Reviewed articles spanned a variety of study types, including needs assessments of existing workforce, program evaluations, and reviews/commentaries. A resilience-oriented workforce spans many disciplines and training programs will need to reflect that. It requires a collaborative organizational model that promotes information sharing structures. Leadership models should foster a balance between workforce autonomy and operation as a collective entity. Optimal strategies to develop a resilience-oriented workforce have yet to be realized and future research will need to collect and synthesize data to promote and evaluate the growth of this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective
The Inverse Response Law: Theory and Relevance to the Aftermath of Disasters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050916
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
The Inverse Care Law is principally concerned with the effect of market forces on health care which create inequities in access to health services through privileging individuals who possess the forms of social capital that are valued within health care settings. The fields [...] Read more.
The Inverse Care Law is principally concerned with the effect of market forces on health care which create inequities in access to health services through privileging individuals who possess the forms of social capital that are valued within health care settings. The fields of disaster risk reduction need to consider the ways in which inequities, driven by economic and social policy as well as institutional decision-making, create vulnerabilities prior to a disaster, which are then magnified post disaster through entrenched structural differences in access to resources. Drawing on key principles within the Inverse Care Law, the Inverse Response Law refers to the idea that people in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to be impacted and to experience disparities in service provision during the disaster response and recovery phase. In a market model of recovery, vulnerable groups struggle to compete for necessary services creating inequities in adaptive capacity as well as in social and wellbeing outcomes over time. Both the Inverse Care Law and the Inverse Response Law focus on the structural organisation of services at a macro level. In this article, the Inverse Care Law is outlined, its application to medical treatment following disasters considered and an explanation of the Inverse Response Law provided. Case studies from recent disasters, in London, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Mexico City are examined in order to illustrate themes at work relating to the Inverse Response Law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessCommentary
Commonalities between Disaster and Climate Change Risks for Health: A Theoretical Framework
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030538
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
Disasters and climate change have significant implications for human health worldwide. Both climate change and the climate-sensitive hazards that result in disasters, are discussed in terms of direct and indirect impacts on health. A growing body of literature has argued for the need [...] Read more.
Disasters and climate change have significant implications for human health worldwide. Both climate change and the climate-sensitive hazards that result in disasters, are discussed in terms of direct and indirect impacts on health. A growing body of literature has argued for the need to link disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. However, there is limited articulation of the commonalities between these health impacts. Understanding the shared risk pathways is an important starting point for developing joint strategies for adapting to, and reducing, health risks. Therefore, this article discusses the common aspects of direct and indirect health risks of climate change and climate-sensitive disasters. Based on this discussion a theoretical framework is presented for understanding these commonalities. As such, this article hopes to extend the current health impact frameworks and provide a platform for further research exploring opportunities for linked adaptation and risk reduction strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Expanding Understanding of Response Roles: An Examination of Immediate and First Responders in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030534
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
2017 was a record year for disasters and disaster response in the U.S. Redefining and differentiating key response roles like “immediate responders” and “first responders” is critical. Traditional first responders are not and cannot remain the only cadre of expected lifesavers following a [...] Read more.
2017 was a record year for disasters and disaster response in the U.S. Redefining and differentiating key response roles like “immediate responders” and “first responders” is critical. Traditional first responders are not and cannot remain the only cadre of expected lifesavers following a mass casualty event. The authors argue that the U.S. needs to expand its understanding of response roles to include that of the immediate responders, or those individuals who find themselves at the incident scene and are able to assist others. Through universal training and education of the citizenry, the U.S. has the opportunity increase overall disaster resiliency and community outcomes following large-scale disasters. Such education could easily be incorporated into high school curriculums or other required educational experiences in order to provide all persons with the knowledge, skills, and basic abilities needed to save lives immediately following a disaster. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Open AccessCase Report
How Do the First Days Count? A Case Study of Qatar Experience in Emergency Risk Communication during the MERS-CoV Outbreak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1597; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121597
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
This case study is the first to be developed in the Middle East region to document what happened during the response to the 2013 MERS outbreak in Qatar. It provides a description of key epidemiologic events and news released from a prime daily [...] Read more.
This case study is the first to be developed in the Middle East region to document what happened during the response to the 2013 MERS outbreak in Qatar. It provides a description of key epidemiologic events and news released from a prime daily newspaper and main Emergency Risk Communication (ERC) actions that were undertaken by public health authorities. Using the Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) theoretical framework, the study analyzes how the performed ERC strategies during the first days of the outbreak might have contributed to the outbreak management. Methods: MERS-CoV related events were chronologically tracked, together with the relevant stories that were published in a major newspaper over the course of three distinct phases of the epidemic. The collected media stories were then assessed against the practiced emergency risk communication (ERC) activities during the same time frame. Results: The Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) framework was partially followed during the early days of the MERS-CoV epidemic, which were characterized by overwhelming uncertainty. The SCH’s commitment to a proactive and open risk communication strategy since day one, contributed to creating the SCH’s image as a credible source of information and allowed for the quick initiation of the overall response efforts. Yet, conflicting messages and over reassurance were among the observed pitfalls of the implemented ERC strategy. Conclusion: The adoption of CERC principles can help restore and maintain the credibility of responding agencies. Further work is needed to develop more rigorous and comprehensive research strategies that address sharing of information by mainstream as well as social media for a more accurate assessment of the impact of the ERC strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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