People across the world are faced with the risks associated with health emergencies and disasters. Reducing such risks and their consequences is vital to health security and resilience across communities. Research and knowledge management on Health EDRM is critical in designing policies and programs.
The importance of sound risk management has been emphasized as part of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework), International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Paris Agreement), and other frameworks.
To improve the scientific evidence base, WHO established the Thematic Platform for Health EDRM Research Network (TPRN). WHO HQ and all six Regional Offices are involved in the operation of TPRN and work together to discuss research needs, facilitate international research collaboration and knowledge management. WHO Kobe Centre (WKC) acts as the secretariat of TPRN.
To address the need for stronger methods for Health EDRM research, WKC coordinates the development of the WHO Guidance on Research Methods for Health EDRM. The guidance is comprehensive and covers the design, implementation and reporting of research during and after emergencies and disasters.
What is our research focus?
Based on the 2018 Kobe Expert Meeting on Health EDRM Research Needs, WKC focuses on the below research themes.
To provide effective health support in disaster relief and recovery, accurate and comprehensive data is essential. WKC promotes and coordinates research on methodology and tools for health data collection for use before, during and after emergencies and disasters.
Emergencies and disasters can place significant and persistent mental health pressures on those affected, including the responders. Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is an essential part of Health-EDRM. WKC coordinates research on enhancing health systems for effective MHPSS.
Long-term Psychosocial Impact of Natural Disasters on Survivors in Japan
Development of Specific Care Strategies to Maintain and Recover Survivors’ Health after Disasters
Inclusivity is a key principle of Health-EDRM. This requires understanding the vulnerabilities and capacities of communities and specific vulnerable sub-populations. How communities perceive and manage risks also greatly affects the health consequence of emergencies and disasters. WKC works on research for better understandings and countermeasures on this research theme.
Health workforce development is an overarching research theme of Health-EDRM WKC supports research to address this gap and including capacity building.
Why is this important?
These research activities help countries to strengthen their capacities in emergency risk management and will ultimately contribute to one billion more people safe during emergencies.