Health in Humanitarian Action
CCC Commitments and Benchmarks
Inter-agency coordination mechanisms in the health sector (e.g., cluster coordination) are supported and enhanced with links to other cluster/sector coordination mechanisms on critical intersectoral issues.
Health programme initiated by UNICEF and its partners contributes to the development of inter-agency strategy and implementation plans and ensures that activities are in line with it.
Children and women access life-saving interventions through population- and community-based activities (e.g., campaigns and child health days).
95% coverage with measles vaccine, vitamin A and deworming medication in the relevant age group of the affected population. All families in the affected area receive two insecticidetreated bed nets in malaria-endemic areas.
Children, adolescents and women equitably access essential health services with sustained coverage of high-impact preventive and curative interventions.
90% of children aged 12-23 months fully covered with routine EPI vaccine doses; no stock-outs of antibiotics (tracer for health), oxytocin (tracer for basic emergency obstetric and newborn care services), iron/folic acid (tracer for antenatal care) and antiretrovirals (tracer for prevention of mother-to-child transmission) in health centres in affected areas; at least one basic emergency obstetric care facility per 100,000 people.
Women and children access behaviour-change communication interventions to improve health-care and feeding practices.
All affected populations are exposed to key health education/promotion messages through multiple channels.
Women and children have access to essential household items.
90% of affected population has access to essential household items.
- Early Recovery
- Clarify the responsibilities of UNICEF and its partners regarding health in humanitarian situations.
- Strengthen existing coordination mechanisms or, if unavailable, create mechanisms in collaboration with national authorities and the World Health Organization, to ensure that the humanitarian response is timely and coordinated and conforms to humanitarian principles and agreedupon standards and benchmarks.
- Support a multi-sectoral rapid assessment mechanism and format (including priority health information).
- Ensure that emergency prepardness and response planning includes delivery strategies, resource requirements, plans for supply and re-supply, and a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities of key partners.
- Develop and maintain an inventory of essential health supplies, including vaccines, cold chain and essential drugs.
- Identify senior technical staff with health policy experience in emergency and early recovery to strengthen surge capacity.
- Ensure periodic training of health workers, including community agents, in emergency preparedness and response.
- Ensure that data on pre-emergency coverage of critical maternal, neonatal and child health interventions is up to date and, if necessary, strengthen and/or establish monitoring, evaluation and tracking systems.
- Develop appropriate health education and promotion messages at the regional level through community involvement, and ensure availability of, and agreement on, suitable partners for implementing behaviourchange communication activities at the country level.
- In collaboration with Supply and Logistics, prepare supply plans and distribution strategies based on local capacity to ensure appropriate supplies deliveries. Develop long-term agreements for procurement of essential supplies where these are locally available.
- Develop the capacity of national stakeholders, at all levels, to respond to emergencies.
- Support a strong health cluster/inter-agency coordination mechanism (as a cluster partner or lead, as appropriate) to ensure rapid assessments of the health sector and the implementation of an appropriate response to maternal, neonatal and child survival needs.
- Ensure the rapid provision of a context-appropriate package of services. Typically this includes measles vaccination and distribution of vitamin A, long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and deworming medication, but the actual package and delivery mechanism will depend on the context.
- Ensure the re-establishment of disrupted essential care services for women and children, including the provision of essential drugs, diagnostics and supplies. Priority essential health services will include:
- Treatment of conditions with a high impact on maternal, neonatal and child survival, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria (where appropriate).
- Critical services such as maternal health services, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and HIV prevention and treatment services.
- Clinical and psychosocial services for victims of sexual violence and/or child abuse.
- Ensure that health coordination and action links to recovery and longterm development by supporting national stakeholders and the Early Recovery Cluster/Network in elaborating transition strategies and plans that strengthen local and national ownership, and develop the capacity of both government and civil society, addressing risk reduction.
- Ensure that early recovery and transition plans incorporate key maternal, neonatal and child survival needs. It is important that these plans link to existing national health strategies (e.g., health systems strengthening plans and health sector reform plans).
- Provide critical inputs towards re-establishment of routine services, e.g., cold chain for resumption of EPI services.
- Initiate discussions on the use of the emergency response as a platform for sustainable scale-up of critical maternal, newborn and child health interventions, and utilize opportunities provided by the emergency to review existing strategies and protocols with a view to 'building back better'.
- Initiate a gap analysis of local and national capacities in health, and ensure integration of capacity strengthening in early recovery and transition plans, with a focus on risk reduction.
Policy and Standards
Guidelines and Tools
- Cluster Approach
- Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations, Distance Learning
- Psychological First Aid: A Guide for Field Workers WHO, 2011
- Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Emergencies: What Should Humanitarian Health Actors Know? IASC, 2010
- Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies IASC, 2008
- Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies- Checklist for Field Use IASC, 2008
- Global Climate Change and Child Health UNICEF, 2009
- Protecting the Health of Vulnerable People from the Humanitarian Consequences of Climate Change and Climate Related Disasters WHO, 2009
- Climate Change Adaptation Resources WHO
- Climate Change and Human Health WHO
- Training Course for Public Health Professionals WHO
- Hidden Cities: Health Inequities in Urban Settings WHO, UNHABITAT, 2010
- Community Case Management During an Influenza Outbreak: Flip Book WHO, 2011
- Community Case Management During an Influenza Outbreak: Trainer's Guide WHO, 2011
- Community Case Management During an Influenza Outbreak: Participant's Handout WHO, 2011
- Reducing Excess Mortality from Common Illnesses During a Pandemic WHO, 2008
- Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Mitigation in Refugee and Displaced Settings WHO, 2008
- Pandemic and Communication for Behaviour and Social Change UNICEF