The 2015 Nepal Earthquake Disaster: Is the Threat of Occurrence of Communicable Disease Epidemic Over?

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Sakiko Kanbara Nlandu Roger Ngatu (Corresponding author) Tara Pokhrel T Apsara Pandey Chandrakara Sharma Hyeon J. Lee Shoko Miyagawa Hiroyuki Miyazaki Sayumi Nojima Nursing Association of Nepal (NAN)

Abstract

This opinion paper highlights the state of public health assessment in evacuation centers following the 2015 Nepal earthquake. It also suggests an approach to reinforce risk assessment and surveillance of communicable diseases (CD) in remote Nepalese districts. A short surveillance research was conducted on outbreaks of infectious diseases in Nepal in the post-2015 earthquake in evacuation centers in Kathmandu and Dhading districts. In collaboration with the Nursing Association of Nepal
(NAN), the researchers have established a monitoring and surveillance system, named ‘EpiNurse’ program, in remote Nepalese districts. Periodic shelter to shelter visits, CD risk assessment and relief needs inventory in local communities are implemented, whereas health events with a potential to cause a CD outbreak are being reported to governmental agencies and health clusters involved in post-disaster relief in Nepal. Several cases of diarrheal diseases were identi fied in Nepalese districts
after the 2015 earthquake, suggesting the existence of potential risk for the occurrence of new CD epidemics. Onsite risk assessment and monitoring of the effectiveness of actions and interventions implemented, as well as improvement of risk communication between relief agencies should be expanded to less resourced districts to reduce the risk of CD outbreak occurrence.

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Author Biographies

Nlandu Roger Ngatu (Corresponding author), University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan

Graduate School of Health Sciences & Nursing, University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan; Disaster Nursing Global Leading doctoral program (DNGL), University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan;
Corresponding author’s e-mail: doc.rogerngatu@gmail.com

Chandrakara Sharma, University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan

Disaster Nursing Global Leading doctoral program (DNGL), University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan

Hyeon J. Lee, University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan

Graduate School of Health Sciences & Nursing, University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan; Disaster Nursing Global Leading doctoral program (DNGL), University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan;