Reality Check | WURD radio Special to ecoWURD
The National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Dr. Oscar Alleyne joined Charles Ellison, host of WURD’s Reality Check, to describe public health agencies’ renewed focus on emergency preparedness in a world increasingly impacted by climate change and other environmental concerns. Dr. Alleyne also described worries over the spread of contagious diseases, and public health officials putting greater emphasis on environmental health challenges. There are mounting worries, as well, over the recent revival of major contagions such as the measles and mumps, and how these trends are influenced or driven by environmental changes.
“There is a big multi-sectoral focus where we’ve not only got state, local and federal agencies, but also volunteer agencies with respect to how you respond to an emergency, how do you better prepare for it,” said Dr. Alleyne. “How do you help communities rebound from such events like hurricanes, wildfires and contagious diseases outbreaks that wreak havoc on our public health.”
“You have jurisdictions that are well placed and have very strong budgets, better resources. But, we’re concerned about the much smaller jurisdictions and places where the public health professionals face a shrinking workforce. Really suffers from not having a constant pipeline to regenerate itself. These are the professionals who are there to constantly remediate these emergencies.”