Rapid risk assessment for communicable diseases in humanitarian emergencies: validation of a rapid risk assessment tool for communicable disease risk in humanitarian emergencies

Charlotte Hammer, Julii Brainard, Paul Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Communicable diseases pose a significant risk in humanitarian emergencies. This paper reports on the development and validation of a rapid risk assessment tool for communicable diseases in humanitarian emergencies.
Methods: We developed a tool assessing the 20 most critical risk factors for disease outbreaks in humanitarian emergencies. This paper reports on the development and validation of the tool consisting of face and content validation with key informant interviews (n=25) and a reliability validation (inter-rater reliability test) with groups of volunteer aid workers (n=4 groups).
Findings: Face and content validation confirmed the importance of rapid risk assessment methods and the suitability and usefulness of the developed tool. Participants without prior health protection experience were able fill in the tool with an accuracy of 81·25% (SD 77·17-85·33) across both scenarios (82·35% and 80·15% for scenarios 1 and 2 respectively). Errors primarily occurred when judging the severity of risk factors that could not be captured quantitatively. Revisions of the tool have been made based on the validation process.
Conclusion: The tool was successfully validated for the use in different humanitarian emergency settings and is suitable for users with and without experience in health protection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalGlobal Biosecurity
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019

Keywords

  • communicable diseases
  • disasters
  • epidemiology
  • health protection
  • humanitarian emergencies
  • risk assessment

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