Children facing natural, economic and public health crisis in Europe: The risks of a predictable unpredictability

Hoey H., Mestrovic J., Vural M., Baranova L. N., Somekh E., Pettoello-Mantovani M.

TURK PEDIATRI ARSIVI-TURKISH ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRICS, vol.55, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier


This opening article for the volume dedicated to the diversity of paediatric healthcare systems in Europe, discusses the topic of children facing natural, economic, and public health crises in Europe. The natural and economic adversities and public health crises, which have repeatedly stormed the globe during the past twenty years, have often unveiled a low degree of self-sufficiency and a high degree of unpreparedness by European countries. It is always the case that the most vulnerable take the brunt, and these adverse events have shown their effects and a negative direct impact particularly on the population aged 0-18 years, with important implications for families and communities. The article discusses a rational approach to properly confront future public health emergencies and crises in general. The authors stress the concept that such approaches should be built on past negative experiences, in order to explore, identify, and make clear which are the priorities governing the disaster management activities at all levels in this population group. The authors conclude that safeguarding the health of children could be effectively accomplished by developing adequate, shared emergency management strategies. Improving pediatric preparedness approaches with the use of emergency measures and ongoing collaboration will facilitate a better and more efficient response, able to effectively care for the needs of children in actual crises.