Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and Natural Disaster: The Case of Padang, West Sumatra

Introduction: The earthquake that struck Padang, West Sumatra on September 30th, 2009 was a significant turning point in the city’s recent history. The aftermath and responses to the disaster were shaped by longstanding practices and attitudes towards development, and it has resulted in ongoing effects and changes to the city’s health environment, including, significantly, to issues relating to vector control and the occurrence of dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Objective: Establish and document the links between the earthquake and changes to the environmental health situation in Padang.

Method: Consideration of statistics on dengue hemorrhagic fever, combined with an assessment of issues arising from the earthquake that impact on environmental health, as reported in official documents and media discussion

Result: The earthquake has resulted in significant long-term changes to the living environment, which have impacted on health issues, most notably through an increase in dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Conclusion: The importance of planning for sustainable development in the context of prevention and control of environmental disease is illustrated by natural disasters such as the Padang earthquake, and cannot be overlooked in developing regions.

Author(s): David Fanany

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