Public health emergencies in urban India
Public health emergencies in urban India can be caused by natural or man-made disasters. Occurrence of a public health emergency adds to the already stretched health system. This paper looks into the public health emergency conditions in urban India, and our preparedness to tackle them. To address this composite threat to nation’s health and development, a concerted public health response is needed, that can ensure efficient delivery in emergency situations
Public health emergency is an occurrence or eminent threat of an illness or health condition caused by bio-terrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that possess a substantial risk of a significant number of human facilities or incidents or permanent or long–term disability (1). It is a condition that requires the government to declare a state of public health emergency. The declaration of a state of public health emergency permits the government to suspend state regulations,and change the functions of state agencies (2).
Term “Urban” refers to perplexing variety of environments. Health circumstances of small cities and town differ in many ways from larger cities and metros. Within cities, change in lifestyle of residents is observed. The urban system is often present with full array of health providers ranging from traditional healer, street drug seller to highly –trained surgeons (3).