Nepal Earthquake Disaster Illuminates Global Need for Strong National Public Health Systems

Nepal Earthquake

April 30, 2015

At the time of writing this message, we have only recently heard the terrifying news from Nepal. A serious natural disaster has affected the lives of thousands of people. The death toll is high, and many are reported missing. Professionals from local and international organizations are working hard to help in this dire situation the Nepalese now face. The World Health Organization, a partner of IANPHI, is also present in Nepal, providing the country with additional medical supplies and health workers in the earthquake-affected region.

Although some regions are prone to natural disasters, their arrival is often surprising; leaving locations ill prepared to cope. Even countries with strong technical infrastructure may become incapacitated for quite some time when nature’s forces come to play. Well-constructed emergency preparedness plans help national bodies tackle the acute situation faster and with more efficiency. National public health institutes play a key role not only in the immediate response to crisis, but also in preventing infectious disease, malnutrition and further injuries from adding to the tragedy. A systematically secured process of rapid and long-term emergency response is fundamental to protecting the lives of the people in the affected area as well as those of the health workers and helpers. IANPHI helps NPHIs meet their nation’s needs in this area. Our thoughts are with our Nepalese friends and colleagues, and of all the people in the affected areas.

Pekka Puska, IANPHI President