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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2007 May;18(2):262-70.

Dental care as a vital service response for disaster victims.

Author information

1
Mississippi Department of Health, 570 East Woodrow Wilson, Jackson, MS 39215, USA. Nicholas.Mosca@msdh.state.ms.us

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina's impact on the infrastructure of public health and the health care system in the affected areas was unprecedented in the United States. Many dental offices were flood-bound in New Orleans and over 60% of dental practices were partially or completely damaged in affected counties in Mississippi. Most needs assessments conducted during the initial recovery operations did not include questions about access to oral health care. However, the extent of the destruction of the health care infrastructure demonstrated the need for significant state and federal support to make dental treatment accessible to survivors and evacuees. The Katrina response is one of the few times that state and federal government agencies responded to provide dental services to victims as part of disaster response and recovery. The purpose of this paper is to share our experiences in Mississippi and the District of Columbia providing urgent dental care to disaster victims as part of a crisis response.

PMID:
17483555
DOI:
10.1353/hpu.2007.0042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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