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1.
Front Public Health ; 9: 777255, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599102

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has been one of the best performers in the world with extremely low infections and deaths. This success can be attributed to the long experiences dealing with natural disasters and communicable diseases. However, with different disastrous characteristics, the disaster management systems for communicable diseases and natural disasters are very different in terms of laws, plans, frameworks, and emergency operations. Taking the response to COVID-19 pandemic as a study subject, we found that disaster management for communicable diseases can be improved through a comparison with natural disasters, and vice versa. First, having wider and longer impacts than natural disasters, the plans and framework for communicable diseases in Taiwan focus more on national and regional scales. Local governments would need more capacity support including budgets and training to conduct investigations and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, for quick response, the emergency operation for communicable diseases was designed to be more flexible than that for natural disasters by giving the commander more authority to adjust to the circumstances. The commanding system requires a more objective consultation group to prevent arbitrary decisions against the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, risk governance is important for communicable diseases as well as for natural disasters. Additional efforts should be made to enhance vulnerability assessment, disaster reduction, and risk communication for shaping responses and policies in an efficient and coordinating way.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Natural Disasters , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Taiwan/epidemiology
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512304

ABSTRACT

Natural disasters have obvious cross-regional and compound characteristics. Cross-regional emergency cooperation for natural disasters deepens the diversification of coordination relations and the complexity of interaction modes among emergency response organizations, including horizontal and vertical organizational interactions. In order to clarify the cooperation mechanism of emergency organizations during cross-regional emergency cooperation for natural disasters and to explore the key factors that affect the cooperative relationships of emergency organizations, in this study, a game model is constructed based on evolutionary game theory, which is composed of local, neighboring, and central governments. Then, the stability of the emergency game strategy is analyzed. On this basis, a numerical simulation is used to simulate the dynamic evolution trajectory of the game system. The results show that there is an embedded mutual promotion mechanism that evolves towards a positive emergency strategy combination among the game subjects. The selection strategies of the game subjects show the characteristics of consistency and the following: enhanced cooperation efficiency between local and neighboring governments, emergency capital stock, and shared resources, therefore, guiding social emergency forces to actively participate in emergency operations. Strengthening the emergency dispatching strength of the central government and the effectiveness of central-local emergency dispatching, can support the performance of cross-regional emergency cooperation for natural disasters. Furthermore, the efficiency of cooperation between local and neighboring governments will be enhanced.


Subject(s)
Game Theory , Natural Disasters , Biological Evolution , Computer Simulation , Cooperative Behavior , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans
4.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(11)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504854

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Catastrophic natural disasters and epidemics claim thousands of lives and have severe and lasting consequences, accompanied by human suffering. The Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 and the current COVID-19 pandemic have revealed some of the practical and ethical complexities relating to the management of dead bodies. While frontline staff are tasked with saving lives, managing the bodies of those who die remains an under-resourced and overlooked issue, with numerous ethical and practical problems globally. METHODS: This scoping review of literature examines the management of dead bodies during epidemics and natural disasters. 82 articles were reviewed, of which only a small number were empirical studies focusing on ethical or sociocultural issues that emerge in the management of dead bodies. RESULTS: We have identified a wide range of ethical and sociocultural challenges, such as ensuring dignity for the deceased while protecting the living, honouring the cultural and religious rituals surrounding death, alleviating the suffering that accompanies grieving for the survivors and mitigating inequalities of resource allocation. It was revealed that several ethical and sociocultural issues arise at all stages of body management: notification, retrieving, identification, storage and burial of dead bodies. CONCLUSION: While practical issues with managing dead bodies have been discussed in the global health literature and the ethical and sociocultural facets of handling the dead have been recognised, they are nonetheless not given adequate attention. Further research is needed to ensure care for the dead in epidemics and that natural disasters are informed by ethical best practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Natural Disasters , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Holist Nurs Pract ; 35(6): 321-325, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467438

ABSTRACT

Trauma clusters are formed when 2 or more disasters occur simultaneously and/or consecutively. These disasters have the propensity to potentiate health disparities. The purpose of this article is to share thoughts about critical caring theory and how the theory can inform holistic nursing action when health disparity amplifies trauma clustering.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
6.
Med J Aust ; 213 Suppl 11: S3-S32.e1, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456469

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER 1: RETAIL INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE THE HEALTHINESS OF FOOD ENVIRONMENTS IN RURAL, REGIONAL AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES: Objective: To synthesise the evidence for effectiveness of initiatives aimed at improving food retail environments and consumer dietary behaviour in rural, regional and remote populations in Australia and comparable countries, and to discuss the implications for future food environment initiatives for rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. STUDY DESIGN: Rapid review of articles published between January 2000 and May 2020. DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE (EBSCOhost), Health and Society Database (Informit) and Rural and Remote Health Database (Informit), and included studies undertaken in rural food environment settings in Australia and other countries. DATA SYNTHESIS: Twenty-one articles met the inclusion criteria, including five conducted in Australia. Four of the Australian studies were conducted in very remote populations and in grocery stores, and one was conducted in regional Australia. All of the overseas studies were conducted in rural North America. All of them revealed a positive influence on food environment or consumer behaviour, and all were conducted in disadvantaged, rural communities. Positive outcomes were consistently revealed by studies of initiatives that focused on promotion and awareness of healthy foods and included co-design to generate community ownership and branding. CONCLUSION: Initiatives aimed at improving rural food retail environments were effective and, when implemented in different rural settings, may encourage improvements in population diets. The paucity of studies over the past 20 years in Australia shows a need for more research into effective food retail environment initiatives, modelled on examples from overseas, with studies needed across all levels of remoteness in Australia. Several retail initiatives that were undertaken in rural North America could be replicated in rural Australia and could underpin future research. CHAPTER 2: WHICH INTERVENTIONS BEST SUPPORT THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING NEEDS OF RURAL POPULATIONS EXPERIENCING NATURAL DISASTERS?: Objective: To explore and evaluate health and social care interventions delivered to rural and remote communities experiencing natural disasters in Australia and other high income countries. STUDY DESIGN: We used systematic rapid review methods. First we identified a test set of citations and generated a frequency table of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to index articles. Then we used combinations of MeSH terms and keywords to search the MEDLINE (Ovid) database, and screened the titles and abstracts of the retrieved references. DATA SOURCES: We identified 1438 articles via database searches, and a further 62 articles via hand searching of key journals and reference lists. We also found four relevant grey literature resources. After removing duplicates and undertaking two stages of screening, we included 28 studies in a synthesis of qualitative evidence. DATA SYNTHESIS: Four of us read and assessed the full text articles. We then conducted a thematic analysis using the three phases of the natural disaster response cycle. CONCLUSION: There is a lack of robust evaluation of programs and interventions supporting the health and wellbeing of people in rural communities affected by natural disasters. To address the cumulative and long term impacts, evidence suggests that continuous support of people's health and wellbeing is needed. By using a lens of rural adversity, the complexity of the lived experience of natural disasters by rural residents can be better understood and can inform development of new models of community-based and integrated care services. CHAPTER 3: THE IMPACT OF BUSHFIRE ON THE WELLBEING OF CHILDREN LIVING IN RURAL AND REMOTE AUSTRALIA: Objective: To investigate the impact of bushfire events on the wellbeing of children living in rural and remote Australia. STUDY DESIGN: Literature review completed using rapid realist review methods, and taking into consideration the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement for systematic reviews. DATA SOURCES: We sourced data from six databases: EBSCOhost (Education), EBSCOhost (Health), EBSCOhost (Psychology), Informit, MEDLINE and PsycINFO. We developed search terms to identify articles that could address the research question based on the inclusion criteria of peer reviewed full text journal articles published in English between 1983 and 2020. We initially identified 60 studies and, following closer review, extracted data from eight studies that met the inclusion criteria. DATA SYNTHESIS: Children exposed to bushfires may be at increased risk of poorer wellbeing outcomes. Findings suggest that the impact of bushfire exposure may not be apparent in the short term but may become more pronounced later in life. Children particularly at risk are those from more vulnerable backgrounds who may have compounding factors that limit their ability to overcome bushfire trauma. CONCLUSION: We identified the short, medium and long term impacts of bushfire exposure on the wellbeing of children in Australia. We did not identify any evidence-based interventions for supporting outcomes for this population. Given the likely increase in bushfire events in Australia, research into effective interventions should be a priority. CHAPTER 4: THE ROLE OF NATIONAL POLICIES TO ADDRESS RURAL ALLIED HEALTH, NURSING AND DENTISTRY WORKFORCE MALDISTRIBUTION: Objective: Maldistribution of the health workforce between rural, remote and metropolitan communities contributes to longstanding health inequalities. Many developed countries have implemented policies to encourage health care professionals to work in rural and remote communities. This scoping review is an international synthesis of those policies, examining their effectiveness at recruiting and retaining nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural communities. STUDY DESIGN: Using scoping review methods, we included primary research - published between 1 September 2009 and 30 June 2020 - that reported an evaluation of existing policy initiatives to address workforce maldistribution in high income countries with a land mass greater than 100 000 km2 . DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Emcare, Informit, Scopus, and Web of Science. We screened 5169 articles for inclusion by title and abstract, of which we included 297 for full text screening. We then extracted data on 51 studies that had been conducted in Australia, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Norway. DATA SYNTHESIS: We grouped the studies based on World Health Organization recommendations on recruitment and retention of health care workers: education strategies (n = 27), regulatory change (n = 11), financial incentives (n = 6), personal and professional support (n = 4), and approaches with multiple components (n = 3). CONCLUSION: Considerable work has occurred to address workforce maldistribution at a local level, underpinned by good practice guidelines, but rarely at scale or with explicit links to coherent overarching policy. To achieve policy aspirations, multiple synergistic evidence-based initiatives are needed, and implementation must be accompanied by well designed longitudinal evaluations that assess the effectiveness of policy objectives. CHAPTER 5: AVAILABILITY AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLICLY AVAILABLE HEALTH WORKFORCE DATA SOURCES IN AUSTRALIA: Objective: Many data sources are used in Australia to inform health workforce planning, but their characteristics in terms of relevance, accessibility and accuracy are uncertain. We aimed to identify and appraise publicly available data sources used to describe the Australian health workforce. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a scoping review in which we searched bibliographic databases, websites and grey literature. Two reviewers independently undertook title and abstract screening and full text screening using Covidence software. We then assessed the relevance, accessibility and accuracy of data sources using a customised appraisal tool. DATA SOURCES: We searched for potential workforce data sources in nine databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Ovid Emcare, Scopus, Web of Science, Informit, the JBI Evidence-based Practice Database, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library) and the grey literature, and examined several pre-defined websites. DATA SYNTHESIS: During the screening process we identified 6955 abstracts and examined 48 websites, from which we identified 12 publicly available data sources - eight primary and four secondary data sources. The primary data sources were generally of modest quality, with low scores in terms of reference period, accessibility and missing data. No single primary data source scored well across all domains of the appraisal tool. CONCLUSION: We identified several limitations of data sources used to describe the Australian health workforce. Establishment of a high quality, longitudinal, linked database that can inform all aspects of health workforce development is urgently needed, particularly for rural health workforce and services planning. CHAPTER 6: RAPID REALIST REVIEW OF OPIOID TAPERING IN THE CONTEXT OF LONG TERM OPIOID USE FOR NON-CANCER PAIN IN RURAL AREAS: Objective: To describe interventions, barriers and enablers associated with opioid tapering for patients with chronic non-cancer pain in rural primary care settings. STUDY DESIGN: Rapid realist review registered on the international register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) and conducted in accordance with RAMESES standards. DATA SOURCES: English language, peer-reviewed articles reporting qualitative, quantitative and mixed method studies, published between January 2016 and July 2020, and accessed via MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL Complete, PsycINFO, Informit or the Cochrane Library during June and July 2020. Grey literature relating to prescribing,deprescribing or tapering of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain, published between January 2016 and July 2020, was identified by searching national and international government, health service and peek organisation websites using Google Scholar. DATA SYNTHESIS: Our analysis of reported approaches to tapering conducted across rural and non-rural contexts showed that tapering opioids is complex and challenging, and identified several barriers and enablers. Successful outcomes in rural areas appear likely through therapeutic relationships, coordination and support, by using modalities and models of care that are appropriate in rural settings and by paying attention to harm minimisation. CONCLUSION: Rural primary care providers do not have access to resources available in metropolitan centres for dealing with patients who have chronic non-cancer pain and are taking opioid medications. They often operate alone or in small group practices, without peer support and access to multidisciplinary and specialist teams. Opioid tapering approaches described in the literature include regulation, multimodal and multidisciplinary approaches, primary care provider support, guidelines, and patient-centred strategies. There is little research to inform tapering in rural contexts. Our review provides a synthesis of the current evidence in the form of a conceptual model. This preliminary model could inform the development of a model of care for use in implementation research, which could test a variety of mechanisms for supporting decision making, reducing primary care providers' concerns about potential harms arising from opioid tapering, and improving patient outcomes.


Subject(s)
Health Services Research , Regional Medical Programs , Rural Health Services , Allied Health Personnel/supply & distribution , Australia , Dentists/supply & distribution , Diet, Healthy , Disaster Medicine , Food Supply , Humans , Natural Disasters , Nurses/supply & distribution
7.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(9): e31264, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443994

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patient portals play an important role in connecting patients with their medical care team, which improves patient engagement in treatment plans, decreases unnecessary visits, and reduces costs. During natural disasters, patients' needs increase, whereas available resources, specifically access to care, become limited. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine patients' health needs during a natural crisis by analyzing the electronic messages sent during Hurricane Harvey to guide future disaster planning efforts. METHODS: We explored patient portal use data from a large Greater Houston area health care system focusing on the initial week of the Hurricane Harvey disaster, beginning with the date of landfall, August 25, 2017, to August 31, 2017. A mixed methods approach was used to assess patients' immediate health needs and concerns during the disruption of access to routine and emergent medical care. Quantitative analysis used logistic regression models to assess the predictive characteristics of patients using the portal during Hurricane Harvey. This study also included encounters by type (emergency, inpatient, observation, outpatient, and outpatient surgery) and time (before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey). For qualitative analysis, the content of these messages was examined using the constant comparative method to identify emerging themes found within the message texts. RESULTS: Out of a total of 557,024 patients, 4079 (0.73%) sent a message during Hurricane Harvey, whereas 31,737 (5.69%) used the portal. Age, sex, race, and ethnicity were predictive factors for using the portal and sending a message during the natural disaster. We found that prior use of the patient portal increased the likelihood of portal use during Hurricane Harvey (odds ratio 13.688, 95% CI 12.929-14.491) and of sending a portal message during the disaster (odds ratio 14.172, 95% CI 11.879-16.907). Having an encounter 4 weeks before or after Hurricane Harvey was positively associated with increased use of the portal and sending a portal message. Patients with encounters during the main Hurricane Harvey week had a higher increased likelihood of portal use across all five encounter types. Qualitative themes included: access, prescription requests, medical advice (chronic conditions, acute care, urgent needs, and Hurricane Harvey-related injuries), mental health, technical difficulties, and provider constraints. CONCLUSIONS: The patient portal can be a useful tool for communication between patients and providers to address the urgent needs and concerns of patients as a natural disaster unfolds. This was the first known study to include encounter data to understand portal use compared with care provisioning. Prior use was predictive of both portal use and message sending during Hurricane Harvey. These findings could inform the types of demands that may arise in future disaster situations and can serve as the first step in intentionally optimizing patient portal usability for emergency health care management during natural disasters.


Subject(s)
Cyclonic Storms , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Humans , Mental Health
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(16)2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376805

ABSTRACT

The evidence supporting the idea that natural disaster-related prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) influences the child's development has been accumulating for several years. We conducted a meta-analytical review to quantify this effect on different spheres of child development: birth outcomes, cognitive, motor, physical, socio-emotional, and behavioral development. We systematically searched the literature for articles on this topic (2756 articles retrieved and 37 articles included in the systematic review), extracted the relevant data to calculate the effect sizes, and then performed a meta-analysis for each category of outcomes (30 articles included across the meta-analyses) and meta-regressions to determine the effect of some factors of interest on the association between PNMS and child development: type of PNMS (objective, psychological, cognitive, diet), type of natural disaster (ice storm, flood/cyclone), type of report (maternal, third-party observer, medical), timing of exposure (preconception exposure included or not) and child age at assessment (under 10 or 10 years and older). We found that PNMS significantly influences all spheres of child development. Higher PNMS levels were associated with longer gestational age, larger newborns, and higher BMI and adiposity levels, as well as worse cognitive, motor, socio-emotional, and behavioral outcomes.


Subject(s)
Disasters , Natural Disasters , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects , Child , Child Development , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological
10.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(5): 657-658, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319003
11.
PLoS Med ; 18(6): e1003621, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315878

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Globally, 235 million people are impacted by humanitarian emergencies worldwide, presenting increased risk of experiencing a mental disorder. Our objective was to test the effectiveness of a brief group psychological treatment delivered by trained facilitators without prior professional mental health training in a disaster-prone setting. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) from November 25, 2018 through September 30, 2019. Participants in both arms were assessed at baseline, midline (7 weeks post-baseline, which was approximately 1 week after treatment in the experimental arm), and endline (20 weeks post-baseline, which was approximately 3 months posttreatment). The intervention was Group Problem Management Plus (PM+), a psychological treatment of 5 weekly sessions, which was compared with enhanced usual care (EUC) consisting of a family psychoeducation meeting with a referral option to primary care providers trained in mental healthcare. The setting was 72 wards (geographic unit of clustering) in eastern Nepal, with 1 PM+ group per ward in the treatment arm. Wards were eligible if they were in disaster-prone regions and residents spoke Nepali. Wards were assigned to study arms based on covariate constrained randomization. Eligible participants were adult women and men 18 years of age and older who met screening criteria for psychological distress and functional impairment. Outcomes were measured at the participant level, with assessors blinded to group assignment. The primary outcome was psychological distress assessed with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Secondary outcomes included depression symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, "heart-mind" problems, social support, somatic symptoms, and functional impairment. The hypothesized mediator was skill use aligned with the treatment's mechanisms of action. A total of 324 participants were enrolled in the control arm (36 wards) and 319 in the Group PM+ arm (36 wards). The overall sample (N = 611) had a median age of 45 years (range 18-91 years), 82% of participants were female, 50% had recently experienced a natural disaster, and 31% had a chronic physical illness. Endline assessments were completed by 302 participants in the control arm (36 wards) and 303 participants in the Group PM+ arm (36 wards). At the midline assessment (immediately after Group PM+ in the experimental arm), mean GHQ-12 total score was 2.7 units lower in Group PM+ compared to control (95% CI: 1.7, 3.7, p < 0.001), with standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.4 (95% CI: -0.5, -0.2). At 3 months posttreatment (primary endpoint), mean GHQ-12 total score was 1.4 units lower in Group PM+ compared to control (95% CI: 0.3, 2.5, p = 0.014), with SMD of -0.2 (95% CI: -0.4, 0.0). Among the secondary outcomes, Group PM+ was associated with endline with a larger proportion attaining more than 50% reduction in depression symptoms (29.9% of Group PM+ arm versus 17.3% of control arm, risk ratio = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.4, p = 0.002). Fewer participants in the Group PM+ arm continued to have "heart-mind" problems at endline (58.8%) compared to the control arm (69.4%), risk ratio = 0.8 (95% CI, 0.7, 1.0, p = 0.042). Group PM+ was not associated with lower PTSD symptoms or functional impairment. Use of psychosocial skills at midline was estimated to explain 31% of the PM+ effect on endline GHQ-12 scores. Adverse events in the control arm included 1 suicide death and 1 reportable incidence of domestic violence; in the Group PM+ arm, there was 1 death due to physical illness. Study limitations include lack of power to evaluate gender-specific effects, lack of long-term outcomes (e.g., 12 months posttreatment), and lack of cost-effectiveness information. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that a 5-session group psychological treatment delivered by nonspecialists modestly reduced psychological distress and depression symptoms in a setting prone to humanitarian emergencies. Benefits were partly explained by the degree of psychosocial skill use in daily life. To improve the treatment benefit, future implementation should focus on approaches to enhance skill use by PM+ participants. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03747055.


Subject(s)
Depression/therapy , Mental Health , Natural Disasters , Problem Solving , Psychotherapy, Brief , Psychotherapy, Group , Relief Work , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy , Stress, Psychological/therapy , Adaptation, Psychological , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/etiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Functional Status , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress, Psychological/diagnosis , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(13)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288875

ABSTRACT

Food insecurity increases with human and natural disasters. Two tools were developed to assist effective food relief in Western Australia: the Food Stress Index (similar to rental stress, predicts the likelihood of household food insecurity by geographic location) and a basic and nutritious Food Basket Recommendation (that quantifies the types and amounts of food to meet dietary recommendations for different family types). This study aims to understand and compare the processes and impact of using these tools for organisations and their clients involved in emergency food assistance and/or disaster preparedness. A multiple case-study design analysed organisation's use of the tools to assist the response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the catastrophic bushfires in Australia. Qualitative interviews were conducted by telephone and Zoom (a cloud-based video conferencing service) in July-August 2020. A purposeful sample of eight interviewees representing seven cases (government, food relief and community organisations involved in emergency food assistance and/or disaster preparedness). Three themes emerged from the analysis, (1) organisations are confident users of the tools; (2) Collaborations were "Ready to Go" and (3) Food Stress Index is a "game changer". Findings demonstrate the intrinsic value of the tools in the provision of emergency food relief under both normal circumstances and in times of increased need, i.e., COVID-19 pandemic. The study highlights the value and importance of ongoing intersectoral collaborations for food relief and food security (e.g., the Western Australian Food Relief Framework) and suggests that upscaling of the Food Stress Index and food baskets will increase the effectiveness of measures to address food insecurity in Australia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Natural Disasters , Australia , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Western Australia
16.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(3): 362-369, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201413

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This scoping review aims to map the roles of rural and remote primary health care professionals (PHCPs) during disasters. INTRODUCTION: Disasters can have catastrophic impacts on society and are broadly classified into natural events, man-made incidents, or a mixture of both. The PHCPs working in rural and remote communities face additional challenges when dealing with disasters and have significant roles during the Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (PPRR) stages of disaster management. METHODS: A Johanna Briggs Institute (JBI) scoping review methodology was utilized, and the search was conducted over seven electronic databases according to a priori protocol. RESULTS: Forty-one papers were included and sixty-one roles were identified across the four stages of disaster management. The majority of disasters described within the literature were natural events and pandemics. Before a disaster occurs, PHCPs can build individual resilience through education. As recognized and respected leaders within their community, PHCPs are invaluable in assisting with disaster preparedness through being involved in organizations' planning policies and contributing to natural disaster and pandemic surveillance. Key roles during the response stage include accommodating patient surge, triage, maintaining the health of the remaining population, instituting infection control, and ensuring a team-based approach to mental health care during the disaster. In the aftermath and recovery stage, rural and remote PHCPs provide long-term follow up, assisting patients in accessing post-disaster support including delivery of mental health care. CONCLUSION: Rural and remote PHCPs play significant roles within their community throughout the continuum of disaster management. As a consequence of their flexible scope of practice, PHCPs are well-placed to be involved during all stages of disaster, from building of community resilience and contributing to early alert of pandemics, to participating in the direct response when a disaster occurs and leading the way to recovery.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Health Personnel , Humans , Primary Health Care
18.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1338, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1104491

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of healthcare systems worldwide. When combined with natural disasters, pandemics can further strain an already exhausted healthcare system. To date, frameworks for quantifying the collective effect of the two events on hospitals are nonexistent. Moreover, analytical methods for capturing the dynamic spatiotemporal variability in capacity and demand of the healthcare system posed by different stressors are lacking. Here, we investigate the combined impact of wildfire and pandemic on a network of hospitals. We combine wildfire data with varying courses of the spread of COVID-19 to evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies for managing patient demand. We show that losing access to medical care is a function of the relative occurrence time between the two events and is substantial in some cases. By applying viable mitigation strategies and optimizing resource allocation, patient outcomes could be substantially improved under the combined hazards.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Health Facilities , Health Facility Administration/methods , Natural Disasters , Pandemics , Health Policy , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States
19.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 45(1): 3, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087912
20.
Chemistry ; 26(68): 15759-15762, 2020 Dec 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1017938

ABSTRACT

Rising to the challenge: Pictured from left to right: Salma L. Nuñez, Albert Reyes and Lisandra Santiago-Capeles, Ph.D. The challenges that young scientists face in academia and industry in the United States are discussed. Prof. Joseph Clark provides insight about how social media, funding, diversity, natural disasters, COVID-19 and student loan debt are impacting young scientists. A discussion of strategies to meet these challenges and support young scientists are presented.


Subject(s)
Career Mobility , Research Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Humans , Industry , Natural Disasters , Pandemics , Social Media , Training Support , United States , Universities
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