Can Disaster Preparedness Change the Game? Mitigating the Health Impact of Disease Outbreaks

ERF Working Papers Series, Working Paper No. 1466, March 2021

31 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021 Last revised: 20 Mar 2021

See all articles by Amira El-Shal

Amira El-Shal

Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University

Mahmoud Mohieldin

World Bank

Eman Moustafa

General Authority for Investment and Free Zones

Date Written: March 17, 2021

Abstract

In times of epidemics and pandemics, depletion or diversion of health system resources from routine health care is common, posing serious threats to primary care. This paper estimates the contemporaneous and long-run effects of health disasters on maternal and child mortality in 111 countries during 2000-2019 using two-way fixed-effects and two-step system general method of moments frameworks. We also provide evidence that indicates how health system, macroeconomic, institutional, and structural characteristics can mitigate disaster effects. In low- and middle-income countries, health disasters increase maternal, under-5, and neonatal mortalities by 0.3%, 0.3%, and 0.2% instantaneously and by 35%, 80%, and 26% after one year, respectively. Our estimates show that disaster preparedness can prevent these effects. However, other mitigators, namely health emergency finance, universal health coverage, education, gender equality, and water, sanitation, and hygiene coverage, have greater impact.

Keywords: Preparedness, mitigation, health emergency, epidemic, maternal mortality, child mortality

JEL Classification: I1, I18, H5, H51

Suggested Citation

El-Shal, Amira and Mohieldin, Mahmoud and Moustafa, Eman, Can Disaster Preparedness Change the Game? Mitigating the Health Impact of Disease Outbreaks (March 17, 2021). ERF Working Papers Series, Working Paper No. 1466, March 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3793476 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3793476

Amira El-Shal (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University ( email )

Orman
Giza, 12613
Egypt

Mahmoud Mohieldin

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Eman Moustafa

General Authority for Investment and Free Zones ( email )

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