Research public health issues on the “Climate Change” or “Topics and Issues” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:
- Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
- Create a problem statement.
- Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
- Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
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Expert Answer and Explanation
American Public Health Association (APHA)
The issue of climate change is affecting the entire world due to the constant global warming challenges and pollution from different industries. Climate change has managed to become of the leading concerns for the human race as it is attaining alarming levels. There are fears of the occurrence of natural calamities that are linked to climate change and might lead to loss of lives and economic sabotage (Clark-Ginsberg et al., 2020). Healthcare facilities need to be prepared to respond to different issues within the community in the event of a disaster or climate change crisis. The American Public Health Association (APHA) provides policies on how healthcare facilities can deal with the consequences of climate change during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Natural Disasters During the COVID-19 Pandemic
According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), the general public needs to be aware of the different impacts that climate change has on the functionality of the healthcare sector (APHA, 2020). The association provides detailed policies that healthcare facilities and the general public can use to help in the event of a natural disaster during the pandemic. The general population will be affected by any incident whether directly or indirectly. The affected regions will comprise individuals affected directly by a disaster such as a tsunami and other areas will have to offer help and the overall population saddened by the loss of the community and loved ones.
Natural disasters occur in certain localities but the overall impact can be felt on a national level. The national government has to intervene and help those in the affected areas through evacuations, offering basic amenities, and medication. Healthcare agencies need to work together to coordinate service delivery and improve the provision of services and medications to the injured. APHA provides guidelines that help healthcare facilities prepare for different disasters during the pandemic and how they can manage the issue without causing further harm (APHA, 2020). The APHA website offers insights regarding the need for preparedness against climate change issues ranging from drought, hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes among many others. The information can be used by the healthcare facilities to understand the needed resources, amenities, and personnel needed for an emergency event. APHA provides the needed evidence and resources that can be used to the issue at hand.
Statement of Problem
Natural disasters can disrupt the normal operations of a policy and the effectiveness of set guidelines. For instance, during a disaster such as an earthquake, there is the destruction of property and the survivors can be placed in camps or holding grounds where they would not maintain certain policies such as maintaining social distance needed for mitigating COVID-19. In this regard, it is difficult to implement measures that can help prevent the further spread of the disease and limit the efficiency of the process (Combs et al., 2020). In this regard, there is a need for measures to help prevent the healthcare provider from contracting the disease and also help reduce the rate of infection among the affected communities.
Recommendations for Addressing the Issue
Different issues need to be addressed based on the problem statement, the first issue is the need to prepare for a disaster and the second is how to mitigate the issues of COVID-19 during a disaster. Concerning disaster preparedness, the communities that live near disaster-prone areas need to be informed on survival skills in the event of an occurrence. Preparedness against a disaster is important for the community and would also help reduce the financials needed to deal with the issues (Combs et al., 2020). Additionally, there is a need to address evacuation plans, and the need for accountability and communication to help with the problem at hand (CDC, 2020). On the other hand, there is a need to address the issue of healthcare preparedness and whether they can help the affected victims as well as ensure their health and wellbeing. Ensuring that the healthcare staff put on the right gear while tending to the affected communities can help with the issue and improve the quality of health. The main stakeholders include humanitarian agencies and the government who would coordinate sensitization of the communities. Healthcare facilities should also train their staff on proper handling of patients while ensuring their safety as well.
Impact on Health Care Delivery System
Disaster preparedness is a key factor mainly with the climate change that is ongoing in the world. Climatic conditions can change and with it, a series of events that can be harmful to the people in the affected regions. Ensuring that there are proper resources and activities can help mitigate the impact and reduce the impact of the disaster. The healthcare facilities would also ensure that their staff is safeguarded (Shultz et al., 2020). Overall, there would also be a limited spread of infectious diseases limiting patient overcrowding.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) provides policies on how healthcare facilities can deal with the consequences of climate change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate change is an imminent problem and needs to be addressed as required. The healthcare sector is the main facility that can be affected by a disaster since they need to ensure there is continuity of services and capacity to tend to the casualties. Proper preparedness and awareness can be used to sensitize the patients and create the needed awareness.
APHA. (2020). Climate Change. American Public Health Association (APHA). https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/climate-change
Clark-Ginsberg, A., Rueda, I. A., Monken, J., Liu, J., & Chen, H. (2020). Maintaining critical infrastructure resilience to natural hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic: hurricane preparations by US energy companies. Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience, 1(1), 1-6.
Combs, S. E., Belka, C., Niyazi, M., Corradini, S., Pigorsch, S., Wilkens, J., … & Bernhardt, D. (2020). First statement on preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic in large German Speaking University-based radiation oncology departments. Radiation Oncology, 15, 1-12.
CDC. (2020). Preparing for Hurricanes During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/covid-19/prepare-for-hurricane.html
Shultz, J. M., Kossin, J. P., Hertelendy, A., Burkle, F., Fugate, C., Sherman, R., … & Sands, D. E. (2020). Mitigating the twin threats of climate-driven Atlantic hurricanes and COVID-19 transmission. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 1-10.