Oxfam is widely known for its public health work in emergencies. The rapid supply of clean water to populations displaced from their own homes is vital, and Oxfam has particular expertise in this area.
For more on Oxfam's water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) work in both emergencies and long-term development please visit our WASH page.
During emergencies, Oxfam's Public Health Engineers (PHEs) and Public Health Promoters (PHPs) work with communities to create an environment in which public health risks are reduced and the safety and dignity of emergency-affected communities is enhanced.
Oxfam's public health humanitarian work focuses on:
The provision of clean water
Improved sanitation and vector control
The promotion of activities essential for promoting health and a healthy environment
The distribution of items essential for health and hygiene
To ensure maximum impact of our and others' humanitarian programmes, Oxfam promotes coordination and collaboration with other national and international, governmental and non-governmental humanitarian agencies.
We also aim to maximise the impact of our own emergency public health programmes by coordinating public health activities with other parts of the operation - such as food security and livelihoods - and ensuring that they are supported by effective advocacy and communication.
Oxfam has a firm commitment to ensuring public health assessments are conducted and analysed in the context of existing gender roles and social relations, and their relevance to current risk, vulnerability and mitigation of disaster effects. Prevention and care work is also integrated into programmes targeting communities at risk from HIV and AIDS.
Oxfam adheres firmly to the minimum standards set out in the SPHERE charter.
Read more about Oxfam's approach to Public Health in Emergencies in our Technical Briefing Notes.