5.3. Sanitary controls in shelters and temporary camps

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control sanitario albergFrom the public health perspective, urgent measures should be put in place to reduce the exposure of the population at refuge sites to risk factors for their health, namely:

  • Timely evaluation to determine conditions where people are living, to ascertain needs, and to take necessary corrective action.
  • Acting to guarantee a safe water supply and basic environmental sanitation.
  • Organizing the community at the refuge so that it assumes responsibilities for operating the site.
  • Health care in the form of primary care, preventive medicine, surveillance of communicable diseases, and health promotion.
  • Mental health: detection and early care of mental health problems.

The PAHO Sanitary Guidelines for Camps and Settlements specifies activities that should be carried out in monitoring health at these sites.

Chapter 10 of the PAHO publication Natural Disasters: Protecting the Public’s Health covers the issues involved in planning and managing human settlements.