Prevention Strategies

Prevention Strategies

Epidemiology is useful in investigating the medical and public health consequences of disasters. The goal of disaster epidemiology is to ensure action plans that will prevent the occurrence of acute and chronic health events because of natural manmade disaster occurrence.  Primary prevention aims at preventing injuries, deaths, illnesses or disabilities related to disaster before they happen (Bayram, Kysia, & Kirsch, 2012). For example when the health authorities evacuate people from a place before a landslide, the occurrence of a hurricane or a storm.

In secondary prevention, however, the main objective shifts to mitigation of the adverse health outcomes due to disaster happening. The health authorities could do this for instance by giving health education on how to control injury and dress wounds sustained after a disaster. The people affected by natural and manmade disasters for instance mass shooting by terrorists are admitted in hospital to receive care for their injuries.

Finally the goal of tertiary prevention is to lower the effects of disease and disabilities amongst the people who are already sick. It seeks to achieve this goal by creating centers for evaluation where the chronically ill victims of disaster can get access to short-term pharmaceuticals when their source of medical care is disrupted. They try to make life bearable or restore original function of the victims of the disaster (Malilay et al., 2014). For instance rehabilitation centers for the people physically disabled by disasters.

In summary, this paper has briefly described how disaster epidemiology creates strategies to prevent the occurrence of acute and chronic health consequences in the aftermath of disasters (Bayram, Kysia, & Kirsch, 2012). Disaster epidemiology tries to achieve this objective through primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention each of which has been described by the paper.


Bayram, J., Kysia, R., & Kirsch, T. (2012). Disaster Metrics: A Proposed Quantitative Assessment Tool in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies – The Public Health Impact Severity Scale (PHISS). Plos Currents.

Malilay, J., Heumann, M., Perrotta, D., Wolkin, A., Schnall, A., & Podgornik, M. et al. (2014). The Role of Applied Epidemiology Methods in the Disaster Management Cycle. American Journal Of Public Health104(11), 2092-2102.