Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 307–311 | Cite as

Health Concerns of Women and Infants in Times of Natural Disasters: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

  • William M. CallaghanEmail author
  • Sonja A. Rasmussen
  • Denise J. Jamieson
  • Stephanie J. Ventura
  • Sherry L. Farr
  • Paul D. Sutton
  • Thomas J. Mathews
  • Brady E. Hamilton
  • Katherine R. Shealy
  • Dabo Brantley
  • Sam F. Posner
Original Paper


Pregnant women and infants have unique health concerns in the aftermath of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. Although exact numbers are lacking, we estimate that approximately 56,000 pregnant women and 75,000 infants were directly affected by the hurricane. Disruptions in the supply of clean water for drinking and bathing, inadequate access to safe food, exposure to environmental toxins, interruption of health care, crowded conditions in shelters, and disruption of public health and clinical care infrastructure posed threats to these vulnerable populations. This report cites the example of Hurricane Katrina to focus on the needs of pregnant women and infants during times of natural disasters and provides considerations for those who plan for the response to these events.


Hurricane katrina Pregnant women and infants Natural disasters 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • William M. Callaghan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sonja A. Rasmussen
    • 2
  • Denise J. Jamieson
    • 1
  • Stephanie J. Ventura
    • 3
  • Sherry L. Farr
    • 1
  • Paul D. Sutton
    • 3
  • Thomas J. Mathews
    • 3
  • Brady E. Hamilton
    • 3
  • Katherine R. Shealy
    • 4
  • Dabo Brantley
    • 1
  • Sam F. Posner
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive HealthNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Birth Defects and Developmental DisabilitiesNational Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health StatisticsCenters for Disease Control and PreventionHyattsvilleUSA
  4. 4.Division of Nutrition and Physical ActivityNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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