Building a Workforce for Present and Future Health Emergencies

Gerard Finnigan

Abstract


Adopting an “all hazards approach” represents a significant challenge for both the WHO and most low and middle income countries. The approach requires a comprehensive risk-analysis framework to identify health hazards of greatest risk and the use of risk-based planning to enable the prioritization and allocation of resources to manage and reduce the risks. While this approach is the most practical and evidence-tested for historical health impact disasters, such as storms, floods, earthquakes and epidemics, it far less compatible for emerging and future public health emergencies, caused by cumulative exposure to a contaminated environment or drug resistant pathogen. Current rates of morbidity and mortality from cumulative exposure events from contaminated environments, like air, water, food and those threats from anti-microbial resistance are hundreds of times greater than those caused by single event natural disasters.

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