Below are WADEM’s Position Statements as adopted by the Board of Directors.
The mission of WADEM is the global improvement of prehospital and emergency health care, public health, and disaster health and preparedness. The accurate and transparent release of public health information is necessary to inform response and recovery activities associated with disasters.
The resolution to adopt the international health regulations in 2005 recognized the World Health Organization's leadership in monitoring and responding to public health emergencies.1
Preservation of global health security is reliant upon timely reporting of emergencies and health threats to enable appropriate preparedness and response.2
Withholding, suppression, delayed or deliberate inaccurate reporting of public health information presents a risk for potential health threats to populations. The restriction of epidemiological health information hampers efforts to respond to events.3
The transparent and timely release of public health information is logical, ethical, and required to maintain and improve global health.
As such WADEM endorses that:
Adopted by the Board of Directors on 8 December 2017.
Climate change is affecting disaster risk and disaster impact. WADEM recognizes climate change as an issue of global concern. It is WADEM’s responsibility to support the capacity of emergency management, humanitarian, and health professionals to address the disaster impacts of climate change.
WADEM supports health improvement activities, with emphasis on health promotion during and following a disaster to reduce the effects of climate change, achieved by cooperation among and between multidisciplinary professions involved in research, education, management, and practice in prehospital, emergency, public health, and disaster health care.
The United Nations General Assembly has encouraged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to continue to assess the adverse effects of climate change upon communities and recognises the need for implementation of disaster risk reduction programmes.1 The Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation2 and the Fifth Assessment Report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change3 provide an updated review of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change and reported consensus on emerging risks associated with climate change; as such it represents an emerging threat to the health status of communities. Impact categories identified by these reports relative to disaster risk include:
The Lancet Countdown on tracking progress on health and climate change is an international, multidisciplinary research collaboration which aims to track the health impacts of climate hazards, health resilience and adaptation, health co-benefits of climate change, and calls for mitigation and broader political engagement.4
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), a 2015 UN landmark agreement, outlines priorities for action while identifying climate change as both a driver of disaster risk and as an influencing factor of disaster impact and sustainable development.5 As a result, WADEM:
Adopted by the Board of Directors on 24 April 2017.