3.4. Social hazards

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3 4 amenazas socialesSocial hazards, also called complex emergencies, seriously limit a population’s access to health services, water, food, and transportation, all of which are determinants of health. They also often lead to a lack of safety and tend to come hand in hand with natural disasters such as floods.

Whether for economic reasons or as a result of internal conflict, displaced populations face serious challenges when it comes buy cenforce online to health care. In Colombia, for example, approximately 80-90 percent of the large internally displaced population has insurance coverage, yet the percentage with effective access to health services is very low—not more than 40%. Barriers such as geographical dispersion, the presence of illegal armed forces, administrative and operational problems, and weak health institutions, all negatively affect the timely provision and quality of service.

The need for psychosocial support and mental health care among large displaced populations is also critical, given the presence of depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, violence, and suicide. There are also serious sexual and reproductive health problems in vulnerable populations and those in the process or state of displacement, including teenage and unwanted pregnancy, obstetric emergencies, female mortality associated with maternity, heightened vulnerability to the transmission of STDs and HIV/AIDS, and an increased risk of intra-family/sexual/gender violence, among others.

There are many global initiatives designed to train professionals for the health challenges involved in complex emergencies, including:

  • Health Emergencies in Health in Large Populations (H.E.L.P course): This humanitarian aid training developed by the International Committee of the Red Cross is provided in different parts of the world several times a year in collaboration with many different organizations.
  • Assessing Public Health in Emergency Situations: An intensive two-week course designed to familiarize professionals with epidemiological techniques that can be used to determine the health impact of disasters and conflicts. The course is provided by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters.