International and Humanitarian Disaster Management Discussion

  1. There are a number of diseases that are consistently seen in displaced populations. Please explain potential causes for these outbreaks.
  2. What are potential solutions for addressing these disease outbreaks?


The answers should be at least 3 substantive paragraphs, well developed, referenced, and properly formatted. “Substantive” means that the writer has added to the dialogue with referenced facts or pertinent personal experience leading to a reasoned argument that advances the scholarly discussion. Discussion question answers must include at least one reference that is not from the assigned reading.

Reference to appropriate authoritative resources and official websites. Must be accessible online. Use New Times Roman 12 font with 1” margins and APA style.

The required readings & 2 example from other students are attached, but do your original work.

Teaching Points:

This week we are focusing on a topic of particular interest to displaced populations. As can be assumed by the title of this week’s discussion we will be examining diseases that impact displaced populations. To first understand this issue, it is reasonable to define displaced populations and briefly discuss the impacts facing these communities before focusing on the issue of disease. So, what exactly is a displaced person and more broadly displaced populations.

The term displaced population is an overarching term that defines a number of smaller subgroups of people that for a number of reasons leave a particular geographic area. Defining these subgroups is important as there are similarities and differences that impact each group.

Refugee – people who have fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and have crossed an international border to find safety in another country.

Internally Displaced Person – persons who have been forced to flee or to leave their homes, as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized border

Asylum Seeker – is someone who is also seeking international protection from dangers in his or her home country, but whose claim for refugee status hasn’t been determined legally

Immigrant – is someone who makes a conscious decision to leave his or her home and move to a foreign country with the intention of settling there

While defining these groups is important for determining policy it has little impact on this week’s discussion of disease that impacts these groups regardless of the underlying cause of their displacement.

Understanding that not every person has a medical background we can look at these groups from the perspective of causation and correlation. So, what are the correlations of these groups. We can make some assumptions that these groups were impacted by violence, poverty, or some other significant threat. We now have entire populations of people that are without medical care, adequate nutrition and hydration, or sanitation. These factors are in essence the “perfect storm” for disease transmission. The diseases that impact the displaced are predominately person-to-person, or vector-borne and a variety of diseases are quite opportunistic given the nature of living conditions seen in this group of people.

Why do we see particular diseases in displaced populations? To answer this question lets look at the similarities of these populations. First, what is the underlying cause of the displacement. Poverty? Violence? Disaster? Whatever the cause for displacement we see a population that have negative health impacts simply from moving from one location to another. For example, are these populations well fed. Do they have proper immunizations from their host location and for their new location? What is their underlying health? Do they have appropriate protections from disease vectors? As we answer these questions, we can begin to piece together a variety of diseases that would thrive in these displaced populations.

So, how do we as emergency managers manage this information and more importantly save lives. First, we can learn about disease or employ experts that understand diseases of the displaced. Next, we need to plan appropriately and address the methods that allow proliferation of disease. Lastly, we need to address long-term courses of action that address the underlying causes of displacement. Although, this last discussion point is incredibly difficult to achieve and has a number of tangential actions outside the purview of emergency/disaster management but it is an opportunity to begin a discussion and more importantly define actions.

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