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When disasters happen, people experience broad environmental, physical, and psychosocial effects that can last for years. Researchers continue to focus on the acute physical injuries and aspects of patient care without considering the person as a whole. People who experience disasters also experience acute injury, exacerbations of chronic disease, mental and physical health effects, effects on social determinants of health, disruption to usual preventative care, and local community ripple effects. Researchers tend to look at these aspects of care separately, yet an individual can experience them all at once. The focus needs to change to address all the healthcare needs of an individual, rather than the likely needs of groups. Mental and physical care should not be separated, nor the determinants of health. The person, not the population, should be at the center of care. Primary care, poorly integrated into disaster management, can provide that focus with a "business as usual" mindset. This requires comprehensive, holistic coordination of care for people and families in the context of their local community.
To examine how Family Doctors (FDs) actually contribute to disaster response.
Thirty-seven disaster-experienced FDs were interviewed about how they contributed to response and recovery when disasters struck their communities.
FDs reported being guided by the usual evidence-based care characteristics of primary practice. The majority provided holistic comprehensive medical care and did not feel they needed many extra clinical training or skills. However, they did wish to understand the systems of disaster management, where they fit in, and their link to the broader disaster response.
The contribution of FDs to healthcare systems brings strengths of preventative care, early intervention, and ongoing local surveillance by a central, coordinating, and trusted health professional. There is no reason to not include disaster management in primary care.
Health effects of disasters are mostly consistent across hazard types. Those working in communities affected by disasters have an opportunity to provide surveillance and early management to patients affected by disaster through increased understanding of the epidemiology or health consequences in the days, weeks, months, and years after disasters. Disasters have been called a social determinant of health and population-level changes or social determinants that have been documented post-incident. Environmental and community disruption contribute to health effects. Consequent health effects are evidenced across body systems, affecting both physical and mental health.
To develop guidelines for primary care patient review following a disaster, based on the temporal pattern of disease epidemiology.
A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to examine the epidemiology of health consequences following disasters.
Guidelines for Family Doctors based on the literature review were developed to assist preventative care, surveillance, early identification of emerging conditions, and ongoing management of pre-existing disease.
Healthcare management in disasters focuses on acute healthcare in emergency departments and hospitals. However, healthcare is also being provided in primary healthcare settings during the first days to weeks of the catastrophe, with many health consequences ongoing in the weeks, months, and years after the event.
To explore complementary feeding practices and identify potential risk factors associated with inadequate complementary feeding practices in Ghana by using the newly developed WHO infant feeding indicators and data from the nationally representative 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey.
The source of data for the analysis was the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Analysis of the factors associated with inadequate complementary feeding, using individual-, household- and community-level determinants, was done by performing multiple logistic regression modelling.
Children (n 822) aged 6–23 months.
The prevalence of the introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods among infants aged 6–8 months was 72·6 % (95 % CI 64·6 %, 79·3 %). The proportion of children aged 6–23 months who met the minimum meal frequency and dietary diversity for breast-fed and non-breast-fed children was 46·0 % (95 % CI 42·3 %, 49·9 %) and 51·4 % (95 % CI 47·4 %, 55·3 %) respectively and the prevalence of minimum acceptable diet for breast-fed children was 29·9 % (95 % CI 26·1 %, 34·1 %). Multivariate analysis revealed that children from the other administrative regions were less likely to meet minimum dietary diversity, meal frequency and acceptable diet than those from the Volta region. Household poverty, children whose mothers perceived their size to be smaller than average and children who were delivered at home were significantly less likely to meet the minimum dietary diversity requirement; and children whose mothers did not have any postnatal check-ups were significantly less likely to meet the requirement for minimum acceptable diet. Complementary feeding was significantly lower in infants from illiterate mothers (adjusted OR=3·55; 95 % CI 1·05, 12·02).
The prevalence of complementary feeding among children in Ghana is still below the WHO-recommended standard of 90 % coverage. Non-attendance of postnatal check-up by mothers, cultural beliefs and habits, household poverty, home delivery of babies and non-Christian mothers were the most important risk factors for inadequate complementary feeding practices. Therefore, nutrition educational interventions to improve complementary feeding practices should target these factors in order to achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal.
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