2. Rehabilitation

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rehabilitacionIn the weeks following the emergency period of an acute disaster, such as an earthquake, health sector needs change rapidly. The demand for emergency care, for example, is replaced by a need for primary care, while in the area of surveillance, the acute phase of monitoring diseases from sentinel posts is gradually replaced by traditional monitoring, although attention to changes of epidemiological behavior of diseases continues. Health-related needs and environmental needs increase, as does attention to the needs of populations in camps or temporary settlements.

Decision-makers must consider the nature and behavior of disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and some floods are sudden-onset in nature, while drought becomes evident slowly) in order to properly identify needs for early rehabilitation, since each disaster has its own characteristics.

However, it is important to emphasize that there is no clearly defined line between the emergency phase and the rehabilitation phase. This is especially true in acute disasters, and therefore it is advisable to plan for rehabilitation needs during the emergency phase, based on a rapid damage and loss assessment.