The terrorist use of diseases as bioweapons has been one of the major security concerns in recent years, particularly after the anthrax letter attacks in the USA in 2001. This uncertain threat of intentional outbreaks of diseases exists side by side with the constantly changing very real threat from diseases, epidemics and pandemics as recently illustrated by the H1N1 influenza pandemic, SARS, and H5N1 bird influenza events.
This publication contains case studies on the public health planning for (un)usual disease outbreaks for 11 large and small countries with a focus on South Eastern Europe. In many countries, military entities traditionally play an important role in emergency response to disease outbreaks. In smaller countries, very little exists, however, in terms of specific biopreparedness efforts (in both the military and civilian area), which is at least partly due to a relatively low bioterrorism threat perception, and serious resource constraints.
The uncertainty associated with the bioterrorism threat makes public health preparedness planning for such events politically and financially very difficult. The similarity of responding to bioterrorism events and natural disease outbreaks from a public health point of view suggests the merit of looking at biopreparedness as a part of overall health emergency planning, not as a separate effort.
Each season has its own particular work for the farmer, and he does his work without direction from or consultation with his neighbors or any one else. Each season has its own particular games for the young folks, and they take to them without any suggestion from outsiders, just as young ducks take to water, without any instructions from the mother bird. The seasons in the south temperate zone are just the opposite to those in the north. Some years ago I spent the months of July and August in New Zealand, and great was my surprise to find the boys down at Dunedin snowballing on the Fourth of July, while the sleigh-bells made music through the streets. In the following October, which is the spring month in Victoria, Australia, I found the youngsters of Melbourne playing marbles, just as the boys in New York had been doing when I left it the previous May.
The Arab world is a distinct geographic and cultural entity, with a complex demographic. Public Health in the Arab World reviews and dissects the public health concerns specific to this region. This volume will interest not only researchers, practitioners and students in the Arab world, but also the wider constituency of international public health specialists and social scholars interested in this region. With contributions from a multidisciplinary group of leading regional and international experts, this volume addresses a comprehensive range of contemporary topics, including the social determinants of health, and health issues in different population groups. Synthesizing a large body of knowledge in an accessible manner, the authors critique and adapt public health concepts, frameworks and paradigms to the context of the Arab world, engaging readers in current debates. This is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in global public health and in Arab world studies.
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