Recent years have demonstrated the devastating health consequences of complex emergencies and natural disasters and thereby highlighted the importance of comprehensive and collaborative approaches to humanitarian responses and risk reduction. Simultaneously, noncommunicable diseases are now recognised as a real and growing threat to population health and development; a threat that is magnified by and during emergencies.
Noncommunicable diseases, however, continue to receive little attention from humanitarian organisations in the acute phase of disaster and emergency response.
This paper calls on all sectors to recognise and address the specific health challenges posed by noncommunicable diseases in emergencies and disaster situations. This publication aims to highlight the need for:
• Increased research on morbidity and mortality patterns due to noncommunicable diseases during and following emergencies;
• Raised awareness through greater advocacy for the issue and challenges of noncommunicable diseases during and following emergencies;
• Incorporation of noncommunicable diseases into existing emergency-related policies, standards, and resources;
• Development of technical guidelines on the clinical management of noncommunicable diseases in emergencies;
• Greater integration and coordination in health service provision during and following emergencies;
• Integrating noncommunicable diseases into practical and academic training of emergency workers and emergency-response coordinators.