This paper discusses disaster-related health risks associated with people who have underlying non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Asian urban communities. With reference to NCD situation in Hong Kong, this paper offers key policy recommendations for better protection and preparedness of this vulnerable group.
Between 2005 and 2014, disasters have caused total damage of US$1.4 trillion worldwide, with 1.7 billion people affected and 0.7 million killed. With climate change, urbanization, environmental degradation and poverty, the world has been experiencing disasters at a higher frequency and intensity. To be effective, disaster management strategy must be able to meet the health needs of the affected population. With NCDs now being the major disease burden and leading causes of death worldwide, the traditional health focus of humanitarian response on acute conditions is no longer sufficient to address population health needs in disaster and emergency context. The significance of NCDs management and planning for potential humanitarian context must be recognized.