Short Report – Special Collection: Climate Change

Primary care disaster management for extreme weather events, South Africa

Keshena Naidoo, Tawanda Manyangadze, Christian L. Lokotola
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 14, No 1 | a3778 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v14i1.3778 | © 2022 Keshena Naidoo, Tawanda Manyangadze, Christian L. Lokotola | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 August 2022 | Published: 19 December 2022

About the author(s)

Keshena Naidoo, Department of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Tawanda Manyangadze, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura, Zimbabwe
Christian L. Lokotola, Department of Family and Emergency Medicine, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Primary health care facilities are at the forefront of helping communities affected by natural disasters. However, such facilities are also vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather events triggered by climate change. The April 2022 floods in the south-eastern region of South Africa claimed the lives of over 400 people, the loss of 16 000 houses and resulted in major damage to infrastructure. Most damage was localised in the eThekwini area in KwaZulu-Natal, which is the country’s third most populous city. This report describes the impact of the floods on primary health care facilities in eThekwini and their preparedness for extreme weather events.

Contribution: Extreme weather events induced by climate change highlight the need for primary health care facilities to develop disaster management strategies that consider climate change.


Keywords

climate change; flooding; primary care facility; disaster management, extreme weather.

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