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Managing Health Related Problems in Disasters Effectively: Use of ICT from Pre to Post Disasters


Managing Health Related Problems in Disasters Effectively: Use of ICT from Pre to Post Disasters By Dr. Sunita Reddy Asst. Prof. Center of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, Know more here: – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Managing Health Related Problems in Disasters Effectively: Use of ICT from Pre to Post Disasters

Managing Health Related Problems in Disasters
Effectively Use of ICT from Pre to Post
  • Presentation for IVth International Conference on
    Transforming Health Care with IT
  • Dr. Sunita Reddy
  • Asst. Prof.
  • Center of Social Medicine and Community Health,
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • New Delhi

Risk Society
  • Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck have termed "Risk
    society", a society that is organized in response
    to risk, a society increasingly preoccupied with
    the future (and also with safety), which
    generates the notion of risk" (Giddens 1999 3)
  • With modernization comes a manufactured risk,
    with a significant level of human
    agency operating in the production and mitigation
    of it (Beck 1992 21).
  • Its a Global World with Global Threats-
    Disasters natural man-made- Biological,
    Chemical, Nuclear

Have We learnt from Past Lessons? Bhopal Accident
  • Methyl Isocyanides (MIC leak in 1984 in Bhopal)
  • Deaths- around 16,000
  • Severely injured 5,58,000
  • Still birth rate gone up by 300 and Neonatal
    mortality by 200.
  • Shortage of hospitals and doctors.
  • Medical staff were unprepared for thousands of
    casualties and were not even aware of treatment
    methods of MIC inhalation.
  • Disposal of dead- concern- dumbed in Narmada
    along with mass burial.

Building ICT Services
  • Building critical ICT services, having a
    pre-planned response to any major disruption by
    invoking a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), and
    defining the procedures to recover fully is the
    need of the hour.
  • Prepare ICT based Disaster Reduction Planning in
    Health Care System.
  • Following figure gives a framework to plan ICT in
    heath care system at a community level.

Risk/Impact Assessment Pre-planned list of
critical systems to be recovered Recovery
Strategy DR contractor to assist the ICT
Department with recovery of affected systemsDR
Plans ICT Security Specialist co-ordinates the
implementation of the DR PlansEducate
Structured Test Programme to train ICT Systems
staff in recovery proceduresTest Plans Planned
testing of nominated systems by ICT Systems
staffUpdate Plans Regular review of the DR
Plan and training new staff 
Risk/Impact Assessment
Recovery strategy
Prepare DR plans
Update plans
Test Plans
CBRN Disasters
  • History is witness to all kinds of Chemical,
    Biological, Radiological or Nuclear Disasters
    across the world.
  • Today we are able to take precautions and
    contained the disaster due to ICT- example in
    JAPAN, India etc. unlike in history.
  • In contrast to chemical, conventional, and
    nuclear weapons that generate immediate effects,
    biological agents are generally associated with a
    delay in the onset of illness (hours to days).

Biological Weapons
  • Moreover, illness from biological weapons are not
    likely to be recognized in their initial stages.
    With highly transmissible agents (eg. Plague and
    smallpox), the time delay in recognition can
    result in widespread secondary exposure to
    others, including doctors and health staff.
  • IT can enable to keep surveillance on any change
    in disease pattern- immediate or slow.

Disasters and Destruction of Health Services
  • Large-scale disasters also affect the public
    health personnel, in terms of lives lost- takes
    some time to restore to normalcy.
  • The destruction of health care centres and the
    equipment contained within is only a part of the
    problem because some of the members of the health
    care team may also lose their life during the

PH implications
  • Disasters have severe impact on Public Health
  • In Tsunamis, Floods etc. mosquitoes thrive due to
    large scale stagnation, leading to the spread of
    mosquito-borne diseases, respiratory problems,
    skin problems, like rashes, allergies and
    psychological problems such as anxiety,
    depression and post traumatic stress adds to the
    complexities post-disaster.
  • Ex. From Clash of Waves

Clash of Waves
Post Tsunami Relief Rehabilitation in Andaman
And Nicobar Islands
Dr. Sunita Reddy
Clash of Waves Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation in
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is located in
anthropological discipline, based on longitudinal
research covering five years of post tsunami
rehabilitation. Often media and government focus
on the disaster event, the emergency and relief
period activities, but long-term rehabilitation
are given a short shrift. What happens to
peoples lives, livelihoods and shelters
devastated in disaster, is not known and not
documented. This book traces and documents
experience of the effected people and the gaps
emerging out of this long and arduous attempt to
rehabilitate them. Most important being
livelihoods and the most contentious issue is
shelters. Above all, the top down rehabilitation
packages on the Nicobarese have changed their
culture forever  
Book Released on 24 Dec 2012, NDMA
Published by INDOS BOOKS F-4, Shaheen
Bagh,Okhla,New Delhi-25. Email-indosbooks_at_gmail.
com and, Cont No.
Public Health Implications
  • Public health implications of large-scale
    disasters are felt for months and years to come.
    Each disaster leads to immense public health
    problems, which varies from disaster to disaster.
  • Providing health care pre and post disaster is
    important. Preparedness to any disaster can be
    improved with prior planning.
  • ICT can be of immense value to plan, prepare and
    mitigate in disaster scenarios

Disaster Epidemiology
  • The primary concern of the disaster epidemiology
    is to improve decisionmaking, by emergency
    response personnel and reduce the adverse public
    health consequences of disasters.
  • IT can be of immense help to scientifically
    measure health effects of disasters, in order to
    assess the needs of the disaster affected
    populations, to match resources and needs
    efficiently, to prevent further adverse health
    effects, to evaluate programme effectiveness and
    to plan for contingencies (Noji 1992).

Pre and Post incident care check list using IT
  • Pre- Disasters- IT based Data base base line
    survey of the disease profile, health services,
    availability of beds and specialists known to the
    DDMA and SDMA
  • prepared check list for Self Assessment by
    responders / Supervisors
  • After action review of successes and failures.
  • Community post incident response checklist.
  • Media Public Relations and Documentation /
    Reporting using ICT.
  • IT surveillance for Unusual swarm or insects and
    Unexplained casualties.
  • ICT for identification and Disposal of Dead
    facilitated through technology

Community Involvement - IT
  • Using Web, media, mobiles the community can be
    involved in pre- during and post disasters.
  • Children fond of interesting video games- design
    games which teach a lesson/ build skills for
    disaster response and mitigation.
  • IT based disaster management courses in schools
    be made compulsory.
  • Interactive IT programs, where people can report
    any unusual cases of diseases to the hospitals .

Information to the Community
  • Giving credible and need based information
    relating to hazardous biological / chemical
  • A regular system of information for accessing and
    recruiting a suitable nodal person called
    community information representative (CIR) to
    disseminate the information and create awareness
    in the community.
  • Communication material in simple, local language,
    pictorial audio-videos.
  • Various representatives of the communities can
    play an important role in training and awareness
    programmes (NDMA guidelines, 2007).

  • Davis Lee. 2002. Man- Made Catastrophes.
    Checkmark Books. New York.
  • BBC. "Bhopal Could it happen again?". 16 Dec
    2008. http//
    /4034829.stm. Retrieved on 7 January 2009.
  • http// 
  • Giddens Anthony  (1999) Risk and
    Responsibility Modern Law Review 62(1) 1-10.
  • Beck Ulrich (1992) Risk Society Towards a New
    Modernity. New Delhi Sage. (Translated from the
    German Risikogesellschaft published in 1986
  • NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority)
    (2007) National Disaster Management Guidelines
    Chemical Disasters (Industrial). Govt. of India.
  • Ronan R. Kevin and David M. Johnston (2005)
    Promoting Community Resilience in Disasters The
    role schools, youth, and families. Springer.

Thank You
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