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What about relief interventions?

(go to Outline)

Crises and humanitarian interventions affect the same epidemiological processes, but in opposite directions: crises increase the number and severity of risk factors, and humanitarian relief attempts to reduce them. The balance of these two complementary forces determines how much excess morbidity and mortality occurs and how much is averted.

Basic interventions may include the provision of :

  • Curative health care
  • Preventive health care
  • Safe water
  • Sanitation facilities
  • Food
  • Shelter

Obviously, curative health care attempts to lower the case-fatality rate of a disease by preventing deaths among people who already have the disease. But curative care also serves a preventive function in reducing the shedding or dissemination of disease-causing organisms into the environment by shortening the course of illness.

The other major interventions also attempt to interrupt transmission of disease-causing organisms or decrease the susceptibility to these organisms.