Title: Strengthening community emergency preparedness and response in threats and epidemics disasters prevention and management in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Ernest Tambo; Ahmed Mohamed Fouad; Emad I.M. Khater

Addresses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, Public Health Pests Laboratory of Jeddah Governorate, Jeddah 21452, Saudi Arabia ' Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, Public Health Pests Laboratory of Jeddah Governorate, Jeddah 21452, Saudi Arabia ' Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, Public Health Pests Laboratory of Jeddah Governorate, Jeddah 21452, Saudi Arabia; Faculty of Science, Department of Entomology, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt

Abstract: Background: Increasing natural and man-made threats to communities and disaster vulnerabilities have been linked to globalisation, increasing urbanisation and climate changes. This review paper analyses the changing trend and pattern in natural and man-made evolving emergencies threats and disasters vulnerability, towards robust and effective emergency community-based preparedness, emergency response policy and programs in Saudi Arabia. Method: A systematic review was performed to assess community emergency readiness in man-made or natural threats and epidemics disasters in the Kingdom. Findings: Our results showed that man-made disasters were the most reported cause of fatality with over 3979 deaths from 1975 to April, 2016. Substantially, Saudi Arabia government commitment and investment efforts have been devoted to ensure adequate emergency management. However, the level of community emergency preparedness culture for all types of risk assessment and management still requires urgent attention in the context of emerging global health threats and epidemics. This paper provides a set of lessons learnt that are useful to foster and scale-up further policy-makers and emergency planners proactive emergency preparedness capacity, and communities resilience initiatives. Leveraging on aggregate annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage or mass gathering lessons learnt, global emergency response experiences and best practices are assets in scaling-up proactive and practical community/public and regional emergency security resilience. Conclusion: Strengthening evidence-based comprehensive sustained Saudi innovative community-based emergency partnerships, community surveillance and preparedness, resilient measures and best practices against threats and disasters is advocated.

Keywords: emergency; community; preparedness; resilience; mitigation; threats; epidemics; Saudi Arabia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2017.10005420

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2017 Vol.13 No.3, pp.288 - 303

Received: 05 Dec 2015
Accepted: 19 Jul 2016

Published online: 01 Jun 2017 *

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