How to use this chapter
This chapter is divided into two main sections:
Essential health services.
A health systems approach to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health services is adopted as a framework for organising health services during disaster response. This is the best approach to ensure that priority health needs are identified and met in an efficient and effective manner. Principles such as supporting national and local health systems, coordination and standardisation of tools and approaches are stressed throughout.
The Protection Principles and Core Standards must be used consistently with this chapter.
Although primarily intended to inform humanitarian response to a disaster, the minimum standards may also be considered during disaster preparedness.
Each section contains the following:
- The minimum standards: These are qualitative in nature and specify the minimum levels to be attained in disaster response regarding the provision of health services.
- Key actions: These are suggested activities and inputs to help meet the standards.
- Key indicators: These are ‘signals’ that show whether a standard has been attained. They provide a way of measuring and communicating the processes and results of key actions; they relate to the minimum standard, not to the key action.
- Guidance notes:These include specific points to consider when applying the minimum standards, key actions and key indicators in different situations. They provide guidance on tackling practical difficulties, benchmarks or advice on priority issues. They may also include critical issues relating to the standards, actions or indicators, and describe dilemmas, controversies or gaps in current knowledge.
If required key actions and indicators cannot be met, the resulting adverse implications on the affected population should be appraised and appropriate mitigating actions taken.
Appendices at the end of the chapter include a checklist for health service assessments, sample surveillance reporting forms and formulas for calculating key health indicators. A references and further reading section is also provided.