The authors of this chapter include emergency physicians, primary care physicians and a surgeon. All have experience of the complex problems faced by health professionals in attempting to provide acute medical care in the face of adversity following natural and man-made disasters and in other austere settings. In this context, it is impossible to draw a line between public health medicine and acute medical care. Thirst, starvation, diarrhoea and communicable disease are all illnesses requiring management and are the lot of the acute care health professional as well as the public and community health professional. Inevitably this has lead to some overlap with other chapters and sections in this manual. We see this as reinforcement, not repetition, and perhaps it also shows an additional viewpoint. This chapter attempts to deal with a vast array of medical problems in a wide variety of conflict settings. It is not intended for the experienced senior physician, seasoned by numerous deployments. The authors recognise that readers of this manual are more likely to include elective students in medicine and professions allied to medicine, junior doctors, nurses and a range of other health professionals. The age and experience of this diverse group will also vary greatly. Therefore, the chapter does not attempt to be an exhaustive treatise on medical therapeutics. Such specialist texts already exist and are listed in the suggested reading section at the end of this chapter, and in the Resources section.
KeywordsHepatitis Influenza Tuberculosis Meningitis Tetracycline
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Suggested Further Reading
- Behrens RH, McAdam KPWJ, scientific editors. Travel medicine. British Medical Bulletin, Vol. 49.Google Scholar
- Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1993. Cook GC, editor. Travelassociated disease. London: Royal College of Physicians, 1995. Cowan GO, Heap BJ. Clinical tropical medicine. London: Chapman & Hall, 1993.Google Scholar
- Dawood R, editor. Travellers health: how to stay healthy abroad, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
- Immunisation against disease. London: HMSO (updated annually).Google Scholar
- Médecins Sans Frontières. Refugee health: an approach to emergency situations. London: Macmillan, 1997.Google Scholar
- Perrin P. Handbook on war and public health, English ed. Geneva: ICRC, 1996.Google Scholar