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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Moreno-Walton, Lisa and Koenig, Kristi 2016. Disaster Resilience: Addressing Gender Disparities. World Medical & Health Policy, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 46.


    Ayazi, Touraj Swartz, Leslie Eide, Arne H Lien, Lars and Hauff, Edvard 2015. Perceived current needs, psychological distress and functional impairment in a war-affected setting: a cross-sectional study in South Sudan. BMJ Open, Vol. 5, Issue. 8, p. e007534.


    Nakhaei, Maryam Khankeh, Hamid Reza Masoumi, Gholam Reza Hosseini, Mohammad Ali Parsa-Yekta, Zohreh Kurland, Lisa and Castren, Maaret 2015. Impact of disaster on women in Iran and implication for emergency nurses volunteering to provide urgent humanitarian aid relief: A qualitative study. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, Vol. 18, Issue. 3, p. 165.


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Disasters and Women's Health: Reflections from the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

  • Christina M. Bloem (a1) and Andrew C. Miller (a2) (a3)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X12001677
  • Published online: 04 January 2013
Abstract
AbstractIntroduction

Increasing attention is being focused on the needs of vulnerable populations during humanitarian emergency response. Vulnerable populations are those groups with increased susceptibility to poor health outcomes rendering them disproportionately affected by the event. This discussion focuses on women's health needs during the disaster relief effort after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Report

The Emergency Department (ED) of the temporary mobile encampment in L'Hôpital de l'Université d'Etat d'Haïti (HUEH) was the site of the team's disaster relief mission. In February 2010, most of the hospital was staffed by foreign physicians and nurses, with a high turnover rate. Although integration with local Haitian staff was encouraged, implementation of this practice was variable. Common presentations in the ED included infectious diseases, traumatic injuries, chronic disease exacerbations, and follow-up care of post-earthquake injuries and infections. Women-specific complaints included vaginal infections, breast pain or masses, and pregnancy-related concerns or complications. Women were also targets of gender-based violence.

Discussion

Recent disasters in Haiti, Pakistan, and elsewhere have challenged the international health community to provide gender-balanced health care in suboptimal environments. Much room for improvement remains. Although the assessment team was gender-balanced, improved incorporation of Haitian personnel may have enhanced patient trust, and improved cultural sensitivity and communication. Camp geography should foster both patient privacy and security during sensitive examinations. This could have been improved upon by geographically separating men's and women's treatment areas and using a barrier screen to generate a more private examination environment. Women's health supplies must include an appropriate exam table, emergency obstetrical and midwifery supplies, urine dipsticks, and sanitary and reproductive health supplies. A referral system must be established for patients requiring a higher level of care. Lastly, improved inter-organization communication and promotion of resource pooling may improve treatment access and quality for select gender-based interventions.

Conclusion

Simple, inexpensive modifications to disaster relief health care settings can dramatically reduce barriers to care for vulnerable populations.

BloemCM, MillerAC. Disasters and Women's Health: Reflections from the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti. Prehosp Disaster Med.2013;28(2):1-5.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence:Christina Bloem, MD, MPH Department of Emergency Medicine SUNY Downstate Medical Center 440 Lenox Rd., Suite 2M Brooklyn, NY 11203 USA E-mail christina.bloem@downstate.edu
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2.AC Miller , B Arquilla . Disasters, women's health, and conservative society: working in Pakistan with the Turkish Red Crescent following the South Asian earthquake. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2007;22(4):269-273.

3.AC Miller , B Arquilla . Chronic diseases and natural hazards: the impact of natural disasters on diabetic, renal, and cardiac patients. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2008;23(2):181-190.

6.J Seaman , S Maguire . ABC of conflict and disaster. The special needs of children and women. BMJ. 2005;331(7507):34-36.

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10.MI Chen , A von Roenne , Y Souare , et al. Reproductive health for refugees by refugees in Guinea II: sexually transmitted infections. Confl Health. 2008;2:14.

CM Bloem , AC Miller . Disasters and women's health: reflections from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1-5

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Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
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