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close this bookEmergency Vector Control after Natural Disaster (PAHO)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgment
Open this folder and view contentsPart I: An Overview
Open this folder and view contentsPart II: Control measures for specific vectors
Open this folder and view contentsPart III: Consultants
Open this folder and view contentsPart IV: Annexes


Pan American Health Organization consultants, working in the Caribbean after Hurricane David in 1979, identified the need for guidelines concerning problems related to vector-borne disease after natural disaster. This guide was prepared in response to that need. It was written for countries that might be affected by natural disasters in order to alert them of potential vector related problems and their possible solutions, and to provide guidelines for consultants assigned to countries for postdisaster assessments.

This guide was also written for individuals with a broad range of backgrounds, from that of health administration to that of vector control inspection. Certain subjects may not be discussed in sufficient detail to provide answers for all technical decisions to be made. Therefore, this information should be supplemented through additional reading of the references listed in the bibliography.

Pan American Health Organization
Working Group on Vector Control after Natural Disasters
10-14 November, 1980 Jacksonville, Florida


Dr. L. J. Charles, Sr.
Public Health Consultant
Saint John's, Antigua

Dr. J. M. Lamdin
Medical Entomologist
United States Navy
Alameda, California, U.S.A.

Dr. J. A. Mulrennan, Jr.
Medical Entomologist
Department of Health and
Rehabilitative Services
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A.

Dr. L. L. Sholdt
Medical Entomologist
United States Navy
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A.

Dr. R. T. Taylor
Medical Entomologist
Centers for Disease Control
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.


Dr. M. Nelson
Medical Entomologist
Pan American
Health Organization
Bogota, Colombia

Dr. R. J. Tonn
Medical Entomologist
Pan American
Health Organization
Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

The Group acknowledges the valuable written contribution to the preparation of the final draft of the Guide made by the following:

Dr. D. Bown
Pan American Health Organization

Dr. D. Bradley
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr. S. Breeland
State of Florida

Dr. N. G. Gratz
World Health Organization

Dr. H. Mathis
World Health Organization

Dr. J. Nájera
Pan American Health Organization

Dr. C. Pant
World Health Organization

Dr. L. Self
World Health Organization/Western Pacific Regional Office

Mr. J. O. Williams
Pan American Health Organization

<<TOC2>> Introduction

This guide is intended to assist governments confronted with the problems related to vectors and pests that follow certain natural disasters. It will also be of value to evaluation teams asked to determine the probability of vector-borne disease related emergencies. The specific objectives of this guide are:

(1) To call attention to the vector, rodent, pest and related problems that may occur after a natural disaster

(2) To provide technical information necessary for evaluating the need for vector and rodent control following natural disaster

(3) To provide technical information for initiating immediate and postdisaster control measures

(4) To serve as a basis for the formulation of national and international training programs for the evaluation and control of vector-borne disease after natural disaster

(5) To provide guidelines for planning and carrying out surveillance and control programs under austere conditions.

Since every natural disaster has some unique characteristics, no guide can completely cover every situation. Individual judgment, fortified by knowledge of the environmental, public health, political and economic conditions of the affected area, will provide the real guidance for evaluating problems and finding adequate and acceptable solutions. This guide provides information about specific problems related to vectors and contains suggestions for solving them.