Aiming to respond to an increasing number of large scale disasters and
emergencies, the prevention and management of serious threats to the survival and health of the affected
populations, requires from the countries to be prepared with a timely and appropriate
emergency and disaster management plan. Soon after an emergency, it is important to focus
in providing continuous health services in health facilities, disease surveillance, and
providing the needed essential medicines. A standard medicines list in emergencies and disasters
permits an effective response with medicines and medical devices using standard, pre-packed kits that
could be kept in readiness to meet priority health needs in emergencies.
The provision of the medicines from the EDEML will help in reducing any
excess in morbidity and mortality due to communicable and non communicable diseases in populations
affected by disasters and emergencies.
Chronic conditions were recognized as an important health concern in
emergencies and disasters: cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular
disease and heart failure), cancer, diabetes, acute and chronic respiratory disease
(asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and mental health problems (psychiatric disorders
and symptoms derived from severe distress). The priorities during the acute phase of the
emergencies are to treat exacerbations and minimize treatment interruptions.
Much of the affected population is likely to suffer a wide range of symptoms
of anxiety and other psychological problems caused by severe distress and constrained living
conditions. It is necessary to differentiate normal reactions to the disaster, which can be
handled through psychosocial interventions, such as psychological first aid, from those that
require a specialize treatment and represent an increase in prevalence of mental disorders.
Furthermore, it is also necessary to be prepared with adequate and continued care to treat people with
severe mental disorders which should not interrupt their treatments. An Essential Medicines
List is prepared to address the medicines needs of the affected population post emergencies and