20-year disaster epidemiology in Italy: what have we learned and how prepared are we?
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Department of Translational Research and the New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Center for Research and Training in Disaster Medicine, Humanitarian Aid and Global Health (CRIMEDIM), Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy
Department of Translational Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1689
Disasters have always been part of Italy’s history and the constant threat in our territory is represented above all by seismic and hydrogeological hazards, but technological risks can’t be underestimated, too. Italian civil defense is articulated in a central organ, directly linked to Prime Minister’s Office, which makes use of local institutions, materials and personnel for rapid deployment in case of emergency. In our work, we would first understand disaster epidemiology in Italy and then evaluate regional preparedness resources. Data on disasters in Italy from 2002 to 2022 were retrieved from the EM-DAT Database - Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), from Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Italian regional data are taken out of Italian National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) and Italian Ministry of Health, regarding Emergency Departments (EDs) distribution, bed units, ambulances, number of healthcare facilities and health personnel. Descriptive analyses were conducted by disaster type and years using Microsoft Excel. During the study period, 225 events occurred in Italy, affecting 899/100000 inhabitants on average (Range: 4-4480/100000inhab.), corresponding to 277645 individuals. The most affected Region was Sicily, with 26 events, the majority related to migrants’ shipwrecks in Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, the majority of affected people were registered in Abruzzo and Molise (4480 and 3003/100000inhab.) because of L’Aquila and San Giuliano di Puglia earthquakes. With only 4/100000inhab., Aosta Valley was the less affected Region. Umbria reached best Results in Emergency Department [CR1] [1] distribution (1,59/100000 inhab.) and healthcare facilities (1,70/100000inhab), Molise scored the best bed units distribution (401,81/100000inhab.), Trento autonomous province has the highest number of ambulances (38,63/100000inhab.) and Liguria counts the higher distribution of healthcare personnel (746,55/100000inhab.). Our findings highlight the existing differences between different Italian regions and the importance of emergency preparedness and management, according to effective policy-making plans, strengthening infrastructure, materials, and health personnel. Links: ------[1] http://events.decorporate.ca/#_msocom_1
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