World health organization

Making hospitals safe in emergencies: country examples

An elderly couple at their home in Kyrgyzstan during the cold wave of 2008


In 2008, a severe cold wave in Central Asia showed how vulnerable health systems can be in the face of extreme weather events. In the midst of drought and insecurity, Tajikistan also suffered its coldest winter in three decades. Reduced fuel supplies left health facilities without energy for prolonged periods of time and some hospitals closed. Maternal and infant deaths increased. Frostbites increased sharply and the use of alternative heating led to more cases of burns and acute respiratory infections.

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