Revista Española de Salud Pública
versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727
ARCOS GONZALEZ, Pedro; CASTRO DELGADO, Rafael; CUARTAS ALVAREZ, Tatiana e PEREZ-BERROCAL ALONSO, Jorge. Terrorism, public health and health services. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.83, n.3, pp. 361-370. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272009000300002.
Today the terrorism is a problem of global distribution and increasing interest for the international public health. The terrorism related violence affects the public health and the health care services in an important way and in different scopes, among them, increase mortality, morbidity and disability, generates a context of fear and anxiety that makes the psychopathological diseases very frequent, seriously alters the operation of the health care services and produces important social, political and economic damages. These effects are, in addition, especially intense when the phenomenon takes place on a chronic way in a community. The objective of this paper is to examine the relation between terrorism and public health, focusing on its effects on public health and the health care services, as well as to examine the possible frames to face the terrorism as a public health concern, with special reference to the situation in Spain. To face this problem, both the public health systems and the health care services, would have to especially adapt their approaches and operational methods in six high-priority areas related to: (1) the coordination between the different health and non health emergency response agencies; (2) the reinforcement of the epidemiological surveillance systems; (3) the improvement of the capacities of the public health laboratories and response emergency care systems to specific types of terrorism as the chemical or biological terrorism; (3) the mental health services; (4) the planning and coordination of the emergency response of the health services; (5) the relations with the population and mass media and, finally; (6) a greater transparency in the diffusion of the information and a greater degree of analysis of the carried out health actions in the scope of the emergency response.
Palavras-chave : Mortality; Terrorism; Public health.