This publication without the valuable assistance of Dr Luciano
Carrino, Health Department, Cooperation in Development, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Italy, who drafted and reviewed the various versions. Dr S. William
Gunn launched the publication when he was in charge of WHO's Emergency Relief
Operations (1977-1984); he also reviewed the final text in his capacity of
Scientific Vice-President of the European Centre for Disaster Medicine.
WHO also wishes to thank Ferruccio Ferrigni and Patrick de
Maisonneuve for their contributions on architecture and town planning; Teresa
Volpe who prepared the original drawings; Giulia Dario for her advice on
community action; Guido Bertolaso, Marta di Gennaro, Guglielmo Riva, Enzo
Lucchetti, Carol Djeddah, Agostino Miozo, Giancarlo Samaritan and the health
team of the Department for Cooperation in Development of the Italian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs for information and documentation on emergency health action;
Adriano Mantovani for his contribution on veterinary medicine; Josuis
Zeballos, Dorothy Blake, Jose Maria Paganini, Marc Parent, Don Washington, Luis
Jorge Perez, Carmen BowenWright, Miguel Gueri; the University of Louvain's
Disaster Epidemiology Team led by Michel Lechat; the participants in the WHO
meetings on health activities in the event of disasters held in Rabat (1981),
Trieste (1984), Ankara (1985), Brazzaville (1986) and Marrakesh (1986); and all
the other experts consulted.
Thanks also go to the teams in health centres/local hospitals at
Giugliano (Italy), Ayapel (Colombia), Port Antonio (Jamaica) and Dire (Mali) who
allowed us to field-test various parts of this manual.
Finally, acknowledgements are also due to the Campania Region
and to the International Centre for Research-Intervention in Naples, which
provided organizational support.
The following members of staff of WHO and the League of Red
Cross and Red Crescent Societies (LORCS) also collaborated in this publication:
Thomas Bergmann (LORCS), Claude de Ville de Goyet (WHO/Pan American Health
Organization), Olavi Elo (WHO), Concetto Guttuso (WHO), John Jones (WHO), Andrei
Kisselev (LORCS), Sten Kistner (LORCS) and Michael Tailhades (LORCS).
This Guide is in three parts:
· The first part deals with
rescue work and emergency care immediately after the disaster has struck.
· The second deals with action
taken when the acute period of the disaster is over.
· The third describes what can
be done at local level to prevent and mitigate the consequences of disasters.
Each part consists of two chapters:
· The first describes what the
community can do.
· The second describes what
the local health personnel can do.
But the action of the community and that of the local health per
sonnet are closely linked. In disaster situations, the local health personnel
sometimes need to act as a referral point for the population, to solve problems
relating to survival or to the general organization of the