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Workshop on Cluster Coordination for Emergency Response

During the 20 and 24 June, an Interagency Workshop on Cluster Coordination for Emergency Response was held in Dominican Republic. This workshop was attended by key actors from the Education and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sectors from eleven countries of the Region (Haiti, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Jamaica and Dominican Republic). A total of 35 participants attended from the United Nations System, national institutions, national and international NGOs and the Red Cross Movement.

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Commitments from Central America and Dominican Republic to update the emergency response plans

The influenza AH1N1 (2009) left important lessons learned in some areas such as disaster management and coordination, epidemiological surveillance, health services and communication. From these lessons some technical recommendations were developed and applied to the national emergency response plans.

Recently, the cholera epidemic that affects Haiti and the Dominican Republic has again highlighted the importance of having organizational plans to respond to such events, as well as improving the level of preparedness for major disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

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Development of Hospital Plans for Disaster Response in El Salvador

As part of the strategy "Hospitals Safe from Disasters" the process of development and validation of Hospital Plans to respond to emergencies was initiated in eight health facilities of El Salvador. The Ministry of Health carries out this initiative, with the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Salvadoran Red Cross and Swiss Labour Action and the financial support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO).

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PAHO/WHO supports the emergency committees in Nicaragua

Through training, provision of equipment and refurbishment of facilities, PAHO/WHO strengthens the capacity of the Departmental Committees for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters (CODEPRED) in 12 departments of Nicaragua. These actions are aimed at improving the response capacity of institutions at departmental level to address public health emergencies and disasters that may occur in the country. 

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Monitoring of the volcano Telica in Nicaragua continues

Since May 13, Telica volcano, situated in the Department of Leon in Nicaragua, has become more active and continues to show moderate scale explosions in some cases accompanied by electric shocks.

To date, this volcanic activity has not created health problems in the population but constant monitoring of environmental factors continues regarding changes in the concentration of chemicals in the air and water (especially water wells near the volcano).

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