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Awareness of disaster reduction frameworks and risk perception of natural disaster: a questionnaire survey among Philippine and Indonesian health care personnel and public health students

As the impacts of natural disasters have grown more severe, the importance of education for disaster medicine gains greater recognition. We launched a project to establish an international educational program for disaster medicine. In the present study, we surveyed medical personnel and medical/public health students in the Philippines (n = 45) and Indonesia (n = 67) for their awareness of the international frameworks related to disaster medicine: the Human Security (securing individual life and health), the Sphere Project (international humanitarian response), and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (international strategy for disaster reduction). In both countries, more than 50% responders were aware of human security, but only 2 to 12% were aware of the latter two. The survey also contained questions about the preferred subjects in prospective educational program, and risk perception on disaster and disaster-related infections. In the Philippines, significant disasters were geophysical (31.0%), hydrological (33.3%), or meteorological (24.8%), whereas in Indonesia, geophysical (63.0%) and hydrological (25.3%) were significant. Moreover, in the Philippines, leptospirosis (27.1%), dengue (18.6%), diarrhea (15.3%), and cholera (10.2%) were recognized common disaster-related infections. In Indonesia, diarrhea (22.0%) and respiratory infection (20.3%) are major disaster-related infections. Water-related infections were the major ones in both countries, but the profiles of risk perception were different (Pearson’s chi-square test, p = 1.469e-05). The responders tended to overestimate the risk of low probability and high consequence such as geophysical disaster. These results are helpful for the development of a postgraduate course for disaster medicine in Asia Pacific countries.

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