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Natural hazards and disaster preparedness

Guest Editors:

Krzysztof Goniewicz: Polish Air Force Academy, Poland 
Md Nazirul Islam Sarker: Neijiang Normal University, China
Monica Schoch-Spana: Johns Hopkins University, USA

This collection is no longer accepting submissions.

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizing and reaffirming the urgent need to reduce the risk of disasters, BMC Public Health is calling for papers on preparedness, mitigation and public health response to these natural events. Effective response often requires significant social retraining of both the public, as well as regional response agencies.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Krzysztof Goniewicz, Polish Air Force Academy, Poland

Dr. Krzysztof Goniewicz obtained Ph.D. in health sciences from the Medical University of Warsaw and received a habilitation in medical and health sciences from the Medical University of Lublin. Since 2015, he has been employed at the Polish Air Force University as an Associate Professor. His area of research focuses on disaster and emergency management, health security and civil-military co-operation. He is the author of more than 200 research papers published in various science journals. He also serves on the editorial board and as a reviewer for several specialty journals.

Md Nazirul Islam Sarker, Neijiang Normal University, China

Dr. Md Nazirul Islam Sarker is working as an Associate Professor in the School of Political Science and Public Administration, Neijiang Normal University, Neijiang, China. Dr. Sarker has published more than 100 journal articles in the leading journals, one book, several book chapters, and conference articles. He is a member of various professional institutions like Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society, Krishibid Institution Bangladesh, and International Society for Development and Sustainability, Japan. He is also an Associate Editor/Editorial Board Member of PLOS One, PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, BMC Public Health, BMC Research Notes, and Journal of Environmental and Public Health.

Monica Schoch-Spana, Johns Hopkins University, USA 

Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist, is Senior Scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Senior Scientist with the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. For over 20 years, she has conducted research, analyzed policies, and advised decision makers on public health emergency management, focusing on community resilience, behaviorally realistic emergency planning, public engagement in disaster planning, and crisis and emergency risk communication.

About the collection

Natural hazards including floods, earthquakes and forest fires claim the lives of many every year and are on the rise. According to a comprehensive report from the World Meteorological Organization in 2021, a disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years – killing 115 people and causing US$202 million in losses daily. Although these are not a new public health risk, the scale and need has grown, due to larger population sizes involved and global climate change which has affected temperature and precipitation patterns. 

Natural hazards and resulting disasters directly impact human health and may result in short or long term physical and emotional trauma as well as disease. Furthermore, disasters may exacerbate existing morbidity and mortality associated with chronic and infectious disease through impacting health care systems. These events also challenge the Sustainable Development Goals as, other than their effects on human health, they can cause social and environmental losses, affect food security and safety and sometimes even threaten geopolitical stability.

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizing and reaffirming the urgent need to reduce the risk of disasters, BMC Public Health is calling for papers on preparedness, mitigation and public health response to these natural events. Effective response often requires significant social retraining of both the public, as well as regional response agencies. We call for research which addresses the importance of preparedness and response to natural events, including but not limited to:

• Health risk assessment and risk reduction 

• Public policy and emergency response

• Humanitarian challenges in response to the consequences of natural hazards

• Health system preparedness

• Public information, communication and engagement

• Building and sustaining resilient communities

• Enhancing healthcare and emergency management systems

Articles submitted to this collection will be published immediately following completion of peer-review and editorial acceptance. Articles submitted after 30 June 2023 will not be eligible for inclusion in the collection.

  1. Disasters such as earthquakes, conflict, or landslides result in traumatic injuries creating surges in rehabilitation and assistive technology needs, exacerbating pre-existing unmet needs. Disasters frequently...

    Authors: Justine Gosling, Roxanne Maritz, Ariane Laplante-Lévesque and Carla Sabariego
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:806
  2. Climate change presents a significant risk for the mental and physical health of young people. In order to identify and properly care for potential mental health impairments from extreme weather events, the re...

    Authors: Annika Hieronimi, Fiona O’Reilly, Michael Schneider, Inga Wermuth, Gerd Schulte-Körne, Lena Lagally, Stephan Bose-O’Reilly and Erik Danay
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2024 24:120
  3. Although 12 years have passed since Great East Japan Earthquake and following Fukushima nuclear accident, approximately 40% of Japanese citizen still believe that the current radiation exposure in Fukushima re...

    Authors: Isamu Amir, Yuichiro Eguchi, Kousaku Saotome, Soichiro Ogawa, Yoshiyuki Kojima, Tomoaki Tamaki and Masaharu Tsubokura
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:2050
  4. Bangladesh is one of the countries at risk of natural disasters due to climate change. In particular, inhabitants of its riverine islands (char) confront ongoing climatic events that heighten their vulnerabili...

    Authors: Babul Hossain, Guoqing Shi, Chen Ajiang, Md. Salman Sohel and Liu Yijun
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:1737
  5. Malaria remains a major public health burden to children under five, especially in Eastern Africa (E.A), —a region that is also witnessing the increasing occurrence of floods and extreme climate change. The pr...

    Authors: Joseph Kimuli Balikuddembe, Jan D. Reinhardt, Wen Zeng, Habteyes Tola and Baofeng Di
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:1331
  6. The frequent occurrence and increasing severity of major emerging infectious diseases (MEIDs) have posed considerable public health, economic and social issues worldwide. The emergency preparedness of public i...

    Authors: Yue Luo, Wei Wei, Mei Li, Jianlan Ren, Yu Zheng, Yongli Huang and Yanhua Chen
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2023 23:1040
  7. Coinciding with the rising non-communicable disease (NCD) prevalence worldwide is the increasing frequency and severity of natural hazards. Protecting populations with NCDs against natural hazards is ever more...

    Authors: Elizabeth L. Andrade, Amalis Cordova, Courtney Riggle-van Schagen, Megan Jula, Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz, M. Ivonne Rivera and Carlos Santos-Burgoa
    Citation: BMC Public Health 2022 22:2083