Need evidence based research on disasters

Need evidence based research on disasters
Highlights

Need Evidence Based Research on Disasters. For management of disasters and humanitarian crisis, doing something is not enough but doing the right thing at the right time is.

For management of disasters and humanitarian crisis, doing something is not enough but doing the right thing at the right time is. Decision makers need to know which intervention actions and strategies would work, which would not work, which remain unproven and which no matter how well meaning might be harmful. They need to make well-informed choices and decisions and for this they need access to reliable evidence.

Dr Mike Clarke, founder, Evidence Aid, who is a key scientist at the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in HICC, spoke at length about the need for improving access to evidence based systematic reviews for designing interventions and actions of relevance before, during and after natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies so as to improve health related outcomes.

“It is a major challenge to cope with natural disasters that are becoming more frequent due to rapid climate changes across the globe. I feel that one of the ways to deal with this is that people need to think more about disaster risk reduction, about advance preparedness to face them, and think less about responding to the disaster. Challenges for future are those next times, those next disasters that are coming much quicker than we are used to,” the scientist said.

“We need more evidence-based research on what is causing the disasters. One of the big areas that we need to see much more growth is on disaster risk reduction. As human beings we often make consequences of these natural disasters much worse. We have to think about how to stop the damage we are doing, so that when these natural disasters do happen (and we know they will happen) the extent of devastation is reduced. We need to understand that prevention is better than treatment. We need to think more on what human activities are making disasters more likely to happen and/or making them worse when they do happen.

Human beings do not cause rain. But they do change the land dramatically so that it responds differently to rain. Usually the people who are affected by disaster are not the ones who are responsible for causing them. It is an unfair world in which one group of people creates problems for some other groups of people. So whatever research we do should be designed to improve fairness,” concluded Dr Mike.

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