Public Health Humanitarian Responses to Natural Disasters: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Public Health Humanitarian Responses to Natural Disasters

1st Edition

By Emily Ying Yang Chan


260 pages

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The pressure of climate change, environmental degradation, and urbanisation, as well as the widening of socio- economic disparities have rendered the global population increasingly vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters. With a primary focus on medical and public health humanitarian response to disasters, Public Health Humanitarian Responses to Natural Disasters provides a timely critical analysis of public health responses to natural disasters.

Using a number of case studies and examples of innovative disaster response measures developed by international agencies and stakeholders, this book illustrates how theoretical understanding of public health issues can be practically applied in the context of humanitarian relief response. Starting with an introduction to public health principles within the context of medical and public health disaster and humanitarian response, the book goes on to explore key trends, threats and challenges in contemporary disaster medical response.

This book provides a comprehensive overview of an emergent discipline and offers a unique multidisciplinary perspective across a range of relevant topics including the concepts of disaster preparedness and resilience, and key challenges in human health needs for the twenty-first century. This book will be of interest to students of public health, disaster and emergency medicine and development studies, as well as to development and medical practitioners working within NGOs, development agencies, health authorities and public administration.

Table of Contents


1. Key public health concepts of disaster preparedness and response

2. Disaster concepts and trends

3. General public health impacts of natural disasters

4. The specific human health impacts of natural disasters

5. When public health and disaster collide: responding to health needs in natural disasters

6. Current and likely medical and public health threats and challenges for disaster response in the twenty-first century

7. Resources for disaster response and beyond

8. From public health emergency preparedness to resilience

9. Conclusion

About the Author

Emily Ying Yang Chan is a professor and assistant dean at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Faculty of Medicine and visiting professor of public health medicine at the Oxford University Nuffield Department of Medicine. She is also associate director at CUHK JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, centre director at Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC), director at CUHK Centre for Global Health, visiting scholar at the Harvard University FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, senior fellow at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, fellow at Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, member of The Asia Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR ASTAAG) and co-chairperson of World Health Organization Thematic Platform for Health Emergency & Disaster Risk Management Research Group.

About the Series

Routledge Humanitarian Studies

The Routledge Humanitarian Studies series in collaboration with the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) takes a comprehensive approach to the growing field of expertise that is humanitarian studies. This field is concerned with humanitarian crises caused by natural disaster, conflict or political instability and deals with the study of how humanitarian crises evolve, how they affect people and their institutions and societies, and the responses they trigger.

We invite book proposals that address, amongst other topics, questions of aid delivery, institutional aspects of service provision, the dynamics of rebel wars, state building after war, the international architecture of peacekeeping, the ways in which ordinary people continue to make a living throughout crises, and the effect of crises on gender relations.

This interdisciplinary series draws on and is relevant to a range of disciplines, including development studies, international relations, international law, anthropology, peace and conflict studies, public health and migration studies.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd ([email protected]).

Series Editors:

Alex de Waal, Tufts University, USA

Dorothea Hilhorst, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy