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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

2. Essential health services

Essential health services are preventive and curative health services that are appropriate to address the health needs of populations affected by disasters. They include interventions that are most effective in preventing and reducing excess morbidity and mortality from communicable and non-communicable diseases, the consequences of conflict and mass casualty events. During disasters, death rates can be extremely high and identification of the major causes of morbidity and mortality is important for the design of appropriate essential health services. This part of the health chapter outlines the essential health service standards categorised under six sections: control of communicable diseases; child health; sexual and reproductive health; injury; mental health; and non-communicable diseases.