Richard- I agree with what you said about primary prevention including having clean drinking water. This should be a priority in every community. Unfortunately, so many people go without clean water. And when a disaster robs them of what little they had, they are really at a disadvantage. One thing that anyone coming into a country dealing with a disaster should consider, whether they are a medical professional, lay person, reporter etc… is that they should be self sufficient. Don’t go into a country dealing with a disaster and utilize any resources currently there that could be benefiting the local people. For example, water! When I traveled to Haiti after the earthquake, we all brought individual water filtration systems to clean out own water. It would not be ethical to take any clean water from the Haitian people. It is important to be respoectful to people when asking them to do something when they may not have the resources to do so. You can ask a person to wash their cut up foot every day and apply a clean bandage but if he doesn’t even have enough clean water to drink, he probably wont be using any on his foot. That is why large relief agencies like the American Red Cross, as you mentioned, are so very important. They really tackle some of the largest problems.
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