Hurricane Maria highlights the need to put vulnerable populations in the forefront of disaster preparedness
Map of chosen communities. Credit score: BMC Public Well being (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-14552-4

Hurricane Maria was one the worst pure disasters to hit Puerto Rico. The storm created intensive injury to infrastructure and destroyed the nation’s electrical grid. A brand new examine by researchers on the George Washington College Milken Institute Faculty of Public Well being has checked out how these points led to a lot of fatalities that occurred after the storm had handed.

The examine discovered that folks with noncommunicable ailments, akin to coronary heart illness and diabetes, died as a result of they may not obtain sufficient care within the aftermath of the storm. It additionally discovered that folks with continual ailments died at disproportionately excessive charges after Hurricane Maria. The work revealed in BMC Public Well being on Nov 15.

The analysis discovered these extra deaths had been linked to:

  • Broken medical amenities
  • Obstacles to touring to well being amenities
  • Telecommunications outages
  • Gasoline shortages for medical transport
  • Prescription remedy and oxygen provide chain interruptions
  • Unreliable electrical energy grid

“Understanding the systematic failures after Hurricane Maria which led to our most weak populations at higher danger for demise is critical to raised put together for future pure disasters,” stated Elizabeth Andrade, assistant professor within the division of prevention and group well being on the George Washington College Milken Institute Faculty of Public Well being.

“Because the local weather disaster continues, we’re going to see extra excessive pure disasters. Governments can put together for them by way of studying classes from previous hurricanes to create insurance policies to raised assist group catastrophe resilience and deal with the evolving wants of NCD sufferers.”

Extra info:
Elizabeth L. Andrade et al, The impression of Hurricane Maria on people dwelling with non-communicable illness in Puerto Rico: the expertise of 10 communities, BMC Public Well being (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-14552-4

Hurricane Maria highlights the necessity to put weak populations within the forefront of catastrophe preparedness (2022, December 1)
retrieved 1 December 2022

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