Friday, March 09, 2007

National Public Health Week to highlight preparedness, vulnerable populations

No matter what type of disaster strikes, be it hurricanes, floods or pandemic flu, people who are already vulnerable are going to be most affected. To help communities across the nation take the first step to preparedness, especially those who are most at risk, this year's celebration of National Public Health Week will draw attention to the issue.

Organized annually by the American Public Health Association, National Public Health Week highlights public health issues through community events and outreach. This year's observance focuses on preparedness and public health for good reason: Despite growing threats and numerous awareness campaigns, Americans remain largely unprepared for public health emergencies. In fact, a September 2006 poll by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University found that only 31 percent of Americans had basic emergency plans in place and 66 percent felt personally unprepared.

So what can we do to help? Each day of National Public Health Week, to be held April 2-8, 2007, will highlight the needs of one vulnerable population and feature activities designed to help them become prepared. Free materials are now available from APHA focusing on the needs of mothers with children; local food banks; hourly-wage workers and employers; schools serving children in kindergarten through 12th grade; and people with chronic health care needs.

We are asking you, our readers, to help us reach vulnerable people in your communities. Visit the National Public Health Week Web site now to find out how to host events, engage residents or reach out to community partners. While you are there, sign up to be a National Public Health Week partner or look for browse for activities in the online calendar of events. We'll be grateful, and so will people in your community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! These fact sheets will be helpful, even after the event.