Emergency and Humanitarian Action: Improving the Effectiveness of Health Interventions: Round Table 3
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Abstract1. About 20% of disasters worldwide occur in Africa, and 60% of all deaths resulting from suchdisasters occur in the African Region owing to its high vulnerability and low capacity to provideappropriate response.2. The African Region is burdened with epidemics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods,droughts, famines and cyclones. This wide range of natural disasters is compounded by increasinglyrecurrent and unsettled conflicts and war. Apart from the immediate consequences of death,incalculable human suffering, property damage and displacement of persons, escalating natural andman-made disasters have profound long-term social, environmental and economic effects.3. Most of these disasters cause massive destruction of health infrastructure and resources,crippling the already weak health systems, and decreasing access to basic health and social services.4. Women and children account for a disproportionate 80% of the populations affected bydisasters in the African Region; as a result, maternal and infant morbidity and mortality areconsiderably high. In addition, the scale of disasters fosters epidemics and rapid spread ofcommunicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.5. The rate of HIV/AIDS infections represents a formidable challenge to the complex web ofhumanitarian emergencies. HIV/AIDS prevalence ranges from over 10% among the displacedpopulations in west Africa to over 30% of the famine-stricken in southern Africa where 14.4 millionpeople are adversely affected by food shortages.
Regional Committee for Africa, 53. (2003). Emergency and Humanitarian Action: Improving the Effectiveness of Health Interventions: Round Table 3. WHO. Regional Office for Africa. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/93325
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-third SessionJohannesburg, South Africa, 1–5 September 2003, Provisional agenda item 11.3
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