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October 12, 2005

South Asia Earthquake—Message from Dean Klag

Dear Colleagues:

Only a few weeks after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, our world is again challenged by tragedy. The powerful earthquake that rocked portions of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Like you, it is difficult for me to see the coverage in the media and not do something. My heart especially goes out to all of our students and colleagues who have family and friends in the affected areas. As public health professionals, we are called to aid our fellow human beings in their times of greatest need.

The Bloomberg School’s Center for Refugee and Disaster Response has been in contact with several relief agencies to offer assistance and expertise. The Center has organized a team of medical and public health personnel who have volunteered to travel to Pakistan if needed. Gilbert Burnham, the director for the Center, is also investigating ways he can aid the relief efforts from his post in Afghanistan, where he has been working to improve that country’s health systems.

Please resist the urge to go to the area to help in the response. In discussing how our students and School can help, Dr. Eric Noji ’87, an internationally recognized expert on disaster response, pointed me to the Center for International Disaster Information (cidi) website. It and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) emphasize the importance of monetary donations in effective disaster responses and provide advice on how to choose where to give. Other information on how to help is also included.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the earthquake survivors and their families.

Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH ’87
Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health