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close this bookEuropean Workshop on Educational Aspects of Health in Disasters (Council of Europe, 1982, 50 p.)
close this folderPart I
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentObjectives
View the documentTypes of disasters
Open this folder and view contentsRecent involvement of European health personnel in disasters
View the documentEducational needs for health problems of European disasters
View the documentProjection of educational needs for European personnel going outside Europe
View the documentType of post-graduate training needed within Europe
View the documentDraft recommendation (1)
View the documentAcknowledgements

Types of disasters

The workshop was aware of the great range of disasters, extending down to large-scale accidents such as train crashes. The form of the meetings was, however, on disasters where the existing structure of life of the community is disrupted overall and resources are overwhelmed by the very scale of the disaster. Among those considered were:

- acute castastrophes:



tidal waves, etc;

- displaced persons eg due to drought;

- refugees;

- civil unrest;

- epidemics as constituting natural disasters;

- man-triggered disasters;

- nuclear accidents;

- consequences of nuclear war.

Although the workshop was conscious of the problems posed by nuclear disasters, the issues raised were considered to be sufficiently different to warrant special deliberation elsewhere.

In discussion it become apparent that European health personnel are involved in two major categories of disasters, differing in their location and needs:

- Acute catastrophes may be experienced in many parts of the world; here the prime need is for prompt relief. In practice this means that European workers are largely involved in their own countries’ disaster situations.

- The longer term refugee or displaced persons due to drought or war disasters are, by contrast, much more frequent in third world countries. European workers are generally becoming more involved in such situations through inter and non-governmental organisations.

The two categories of workers who require training are therefore clearly demarcated.