Communicable diseases in complex emergencies: impact and challenges (archived)
Lancet 2004; 364: 1974–83
Communicable diseases, alone or in combination with malnutrition, account for most deaths in complex emergencies. Factors promoting disease transmission interact synergistically leading to high incidence rates of diarrhoea, respiratory infection, malaria, and measles. This excess morbidity and mortality is avoidable as effective interventions are available. Adequate shelter, water, food, and sanitation linked to effective case management, immunisation, health education, and disease surveillance are crucial.