Essential Health Skills for Women in Advance of Predictable Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

Dr. Harold A. Marchand,
Dr. Pamela Terry
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The last two years have borne witness to cataclysmic natural and unnatural events, resulting in the dislocation of millions of people. The natural catastrophes of the tsunami in South Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the United States forced evacuations of millions of people. The unnatural catastrophes associated with war: devastated economies, racial, ethnic, and political persecution and torture, continue to put millions of people in flight as refugees. The terms evacuee and refugee do not have completely mutually exclusive meanings. The tragedies of mass evacuations and refugee flight often result in many of the same health outcomes.

This paper assesses the need to develop brief, but essential health education training for women located in areas that are most likely to produce large-scale evacuations or flight. Women, whether in politically unstable emerging states or in First World, serve as primary protectors and providers of health care to children, male spouses, and elders. Women in flight required essential training for efficacious self-care, as well as the ongoing care of families. This paper provides a meta-analysis of post flight literature on women’s health, assesses extant pre-catastrophe education, and makes recommendations for conducting effective public health education outreach to women who reside in politically and environmentally unstable environments.

Keywords: Women’s Health, Disaster Planning, Refugees, Evacuees, Health Education
Stream: Natural, Environmental and Health Sciences, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
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Dr. Harold A. Marchand

Assistant Professor, Health Sciences Department, Western Illinois University
Macomb, Illinois, USA

B.A. in Public Administration/Political Science, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; M.S. in Community Health Education, University of New Mexico; and Ph.D. in Health Education, University of New Mexico. Hal Marchand is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Western Illinois University. His major fields of interest include: Public Participation in Environmental Management and Emergency Planning for Community Health Education. Dr. Marchand teaches courses in environmental health, issues in hazardous waste management, community health, and environmental risks, and disaster and terrorism planning from a public health and public policy perspective.

Dr. Pamela Terry

Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Western Illinois University
Macomb, Illinois, USA

Dr. Terry is on faculty at Western Illinois University in the Health Sciences Department. She has worked in the prevention field for approximately 20 years and is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant in the field of prevention and community mobilization. She is a successful grant writer; and has extensive experience in drug education prevention, sexuality education, school safety issues, comprehensive school health education curriculum development, conflict mediation, and issues that impact the classroom, i.e., bullying, witnessing partner violence, children living in functionally challenged environments, etc. She serves on numerous local, state, and national task force dealing with issues in health education. Honors she has received include: 1995 Distinguished Alumni from the Health Sciences Department at Western Illinois University; Outstanding School Health Educator in the nation for 1995 by the American School Health Association; 1996 Honor Award from the Illinois School Health Association for her significant contributions in the development of comprehensive health education; Teacher of the Year in the Health Sciences Department in 2001 and 2005; and recipient of the 2001 25 Women in Leadership Award.

Ref: I06P0203