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November 10, 2008

Manual Offers Guidelines for Care of Children in Humanitarian Emergencies

Children displaced by war or natural disaster require special care and attention. Faculty from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, working with colleagues from the World Health Organization (WHO), have developed a new field manual to assist aid workers caring for children caught in humanitarian emergencies. The WHO’s 100-page Manual for the Care of Children in Humanitarian Emergencies provides guidelines for care of diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, measles, malaria and malnutrition for children in crisis settings. It also covers trauma care, emergency resuscitation, burns, care of the newborn and infant as well as mental health evaluation and support.
 
“Many of the existing guidelines for the care of children, including the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, do not cover all of the conditions encountered in humanitarian emergencies. Often they assume the health care system is functioning,” said William Moss, MD, MPH, chief editor of the manual and associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology. “We wanted a manual that would specifically address what to do for children in a humanitarian crisis, a one-stop reference for workers in the field. Most of the guidelines contained in the manual are targeted to nurses and clinical officers with minimal training in pediatric care.”
 
The guide was a joint production of WHO Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (CAH), the unit of Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies (DCE), and the cluster of Health Action in Crises (HAC), as well as the Bloomberg School’s Center for Refugee and Disaster Response.

The complete guide is available online at http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/documents/9789241596879/en/index.html.

Contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.