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Preparing for, and protecting communities from, respiratory exposure to volcanic ash

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Fiona McDonald, Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, has had her work with the HIVE (Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions) Consortium cited in the October 2020 supplement to the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization’s Disasters – Preparedness and Mitigation in the Americas newsletter.

Airborne emissions from volcanic eruptions create a widespread hazard, and can be carried by winds thousands of kilometres from the volcano. The HIVE Consortium aims to:

  • build a new evidence base on the effectiveness and suitability of different forms of respiratory protection (i.e. facemasks) for general population use during volcanic crises; and
  • engage and involve stakeholders to ensure uptake of findings, resulting in a change in global and local humanitarian health policy and practice during eruptions.

The research findings have already influenced agency decision making in eruptions of Agung (Indonesia), Volcán de Fuego (Guatemala), and Kīlauea (Hawaii).

Fiona McDonald is also a co-author of a case study featured in this supplement entitled ‘A new age of effective community response protection? The Mt. Agung volcano crisis appeal’ which examines how non-governmental agencies provided respiratory protection during the Mt. Agung volcanic eruption.

You can find out more about the HIVE Consortium, and you can access a PDF version of the newsletter article online.

About Fiona McDonald

Fiona is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and a Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research. Fiona’s research encompasses issues related to health governance and has four broad themes:

  • the governance of health and systems (with a focus on rural bioethics and disaster response);
  • the governance of health technologies;
  • the governance of health professionals; and
  • the governance of health organisations.

Fiona’s work has been published in a range of international journals and she has presented at a number of international conferences. You can read more about Fiona in her staff profile.

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