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Natural disasters and health: an analysis of the situation in Brazil

Natural disasters are still insufficiently studied and understood within the scope of public health in this country, with impacts in the short and long term. The scope of this article is to analyze the relationship between disasters and their impact on health based on disaster data recorded in the country. The methodology involved the systematization of data and information contained in the Brazilian Atlas of Natural Disasters 1991-2010 and directly from the National Department of Civil Defense (NSCD). Disasters were organized into four categories of events (meteorological; hydrological; climatological; geophysical/geological) and for each of the latter, the data for morbidity, mortality and exposure of those affected were examined, revealing different types of impacts. Three categories of disasters stood out: the hydrological events showed higher percentages of mortality, morbidity and exposure; climatological events had higher percentages of incidents and people affected; the geophysical/geological events had a higher average of exposure and deaths per event. Lastly, a more active participation of the health sector in the post-2015 global political agenda is proposed, particularly events related to sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Disasters; Natural disasters; Health situation; Environmental health

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