Refugee health: an approach to emergency situations.

Bigot A; Blok L; Boelaert M; Chartier Y; Corijn P; Davis A; Deguerry M; Dusauchoit T; Fermon F; Griekspoor A
London, England, Macmillan Education, 1997. 380, [4] p.

The book, which focuses on policies and was written as a guide for decision-makers, consolidates the experience of Medecins Sans Frontieres, a nongovernmental health agency, in dealing with refugees and internally displaced persons. The two introductory chapters in part 1 contextualize the problem by reviewing 1) the political implications of refugee situations and the role of various agencies involved and 2) the sociocultural aspects of a refugee community. Part 2 provides more specific information on the emergency phase, when priority is given to interventions to reduce excess mortality. Each of the following "top ten" interventions is covered in a chapter: initial assessment, measles immunization, water and sanitation, food and nutrition, shelter and site planning, health care in the emergency phase, control of communicable diseases and epidemics, public health surveillance, human resources and training, and coordination (camp management). The final part of the book looks at some specific aspects of health care in the postemergency phase, including curative health care, reproductive health care, child health care, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis programs, and psychosocial and mental health. Appendices offer an initial assessment form, a list of need for mass immunization campaigns, a review of communicable diseases of potential importance in refugee settings, examples of surveillance forms, and examples of graphs used in surveillance.

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