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Salud Pública de México

versão impressa ISSN 0036-3634


SALAZAR-ARBELAEZ, Gabriel. Earthquakes and health: lessons and recommendations. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2018, vol.60, suppl.1, pp.6-15. ISSN 0036-3634.

Earthquakes, in addition to the multiple effects they produce, highlight the vulnerability of health systems and create the need to adopt a State policy that implements a plan to contain and mitigate health damages. Likewise, the behavior of people during an earthquake is an important factor in predicting their survival. Therefore, educating the community about how to behave during an event is paramount. Therefore, preparation is necessary at the community, organizational and public policy levels, particularly in health services to mitigate adverse effects for health and for the State response system. Among the risk factors, younger children, the elderly and people with mobility problems are more vulnerable. This must be taken into account by the States in their phases of prevention and preparation prior to an earthquake. From the epidemiological point of view, morbidity and mortality are related to traumatic injuries, which often demand levels of specialized medical attention in a short period, which in many cases States are not prepared to offer it. In addition to victims of earthquake-related injuries, emergency services and hospitals should also be prepared to respond to other health needs such as cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and post-traumatic stress disorder. The earthquakes suffered in Mexico in September 2017, generated an organized social response that must be documented, so that based on the lessons learned, the new natural phenomena will be faced with greater efficiency.

Palavras-chave : earthquakes; Mexico; emergencies and health services.

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