In January 2022, Fiji was hit by multiple natural disasters, including a cyclone causing flooding, an underwater volcanic eruption, and a tsunami. This study aimed to investigate perceived needs among the disaster-affected people in Fiji and to evaluate the feasibility of the Humanitarian Emergency Settings Perceived Needs Scale (HESPER Web) during the early stage after multiple natural disasters.
A cross-sectional study using a self-selected, non-representative study sample was conducted. The HESPER Web was used to collect data.
In all, 242 people participated. The number of perceived serious needs ranged between 2 and 14 (out of a possible 26), with a mean of 6 (SD = 3). The top 3 most reported needs were access to toilets (60%), care for people in the community who are on their own (55%), and distress (51%). Volunteers reported fewer needs than the general public.
The top 3 needs reported were related to water and sanitation and psychosocial needs. Such needs should not be underestimated in the emergency phase after natural disasters and may require more attention from responding actors. The HESPER Web was considered a usable tool for needs assessment in a sudden onset disaster.
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