A global health disaster network is needed

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6991.1412a (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1412
  1. Earl W Ferguson (eferguson@hq.nasa.gov),
  2. Anthony Villasenor (villasen@nsipo.arc.nasa.gov),
  3. Stephen Cunnion (cunnion@usuhs.mil),
  4. De Ville De Goyet Claude (devillec@paho.org),
  5. Frank E Young (fyoung@oash.ssw.dhhs.gov),
  6. Ronald E Laporte (rlaporte@vms.cis.pitt.edu)
  1. Director Aerospace Medicine and Occupational Health, Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications, NASA Headquarters, Code UO, Washington, DC 20546, USA
  2. Programme manager NASA Science Networking, Office of Space Science and Applications, OSSA Information Systems, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, USA
  3. Assistant professor Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814-4799, USA
  4. Chief Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Program, Pan American Health Organisation, Washington, DC 20037, USA
  5. Director Office of Emergency Preparedness/NDMS, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD 20857, USA
  6. Professor Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA

    EDITOR,—Kobe, Chechnya, Bosnia, Rwanda… all these disasters have been characterised by difficulties in communication. How many people are injured? Homeless?

    Buried? Need food? Most of these pressing questions are answered by word of mouth. The lack of accurate and timely information is compounded by our inability to establish immediate, real time communications among international health agencies, non-government disaster and relief organisations, affected governments and localauthorities, and the people themselves, which leads to needless …

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