Lessons learned from complex emergencies over past decade

Lancet. 2004 Nov;364(9447):1801-13. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)17405-9.


Major advances have been made during the past decade in the way the international community responds to the health and nutrition consequences of complex emergencies. The public health and clinical response to diseases of acute epidemic potential has improved, especially in camps. Case-fatality rates for severely malnourished children have plummeted because of better protocols and products. Renewed focus is required on the major causes of death in conflict-affected societies--particularly acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, neonatal causes, and malnutrition--outside camps and often across regions and even political boundaries. In emergencies in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly southern Africa, HIV/AIDS is also an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Stronger coordination, increased accountability, and a more strategic positioning of non-governmental organisations and UN agencies are crucial to achieving lower maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates in complex emergencies and therefore for reaching the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Emergencies*
  • Food Supply
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Mortality
  • Public Health Practice
  • Refugees
  • Starvation*
  • Warfare*