Preparedness and response to terrorism: A framework for public health action

Rosa Gofin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Political group violence in the form of terrorist actions has become a reality worldwide, affecting the health and economies of populations. As a consequence, preparedness and response are becoming an integral part of public health action. Risk appraisal, preservation of human and civil rights and communications within and between countries are all issues to be considered in the process. The combination of the natural history of terrorist actions and the epidemiological triangle model has been adapted in this paper and suggested as a comprehensive approach for preparedness and action. It covers preparedness (pre-event), response (event) and the consequences (post-event) of a terrorist attack. It takes into account the human factor, vectors and environment involved in each one of the phases. Key points asterisk inside a circle sign Terrorism is a global reality with varying underlying causes, manifestations and impact on the health of the public. asterisk inside a circle sign Preparedness, response and rehabilitation are an integral part of public health action. asterisk inside a circle sign Consideration of the pre-event, event and post-event phases in terrorist actions, together with the human factor, vector/agent and environment in each of these phases, offers a framework for public health preparedness, response and rehabilitation. asterisk inside a circle sign Planning should consider risk assessment, risk communication, inter-sectorial cooperation, enactment of laws and regulations which consider protection of the public's health and civil liberties. asterisk inside a circle sign Allocation of resources would need to make allowance for maintenance and development of ongoing public health activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-104
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Human rights
  • Political group violence
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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