Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


Monitoring Emergencies

From official sources (O.S.) and media (M). It does not represent PAHO's official position.

Bolivia 4/24/2014

Cochabamba department. Omereque municipality. A drought is affecting seven towns and affecting agriculture. Municipal emergency declared. (m: ABI).

Colombia 4/24/2014

Tolima department. Ibagué municipality. Floods and landslides from rain affect ten neighborhoods; no health damage. Drinking water supply is partially affected. (m: RCN Radio, Caracol)
Valle del Cauca department. Trujillo municipality. Strong winds damage 67 homes. Local authorities request departmental and national support. (m: El País, Caracol)

Ecuador 4/24/2014

Manabí province. Manta community. Ammonia leak causes four deaths and injures 33 people, nine of them seriously. Local response with provincial support. (o.s: SNGR; m: El Comercio, Hoy).

Mexico 4/24/2014

Michoacán state. Lázaro Cárdenas municipality. Fertilizer plant fire generates a gas cloud that causes 77 people to seek medical care. Three schools and residents of a community were also evacuated preventively. Local and state response. (o.s: Michoacán Government, Michoacán Civil Protection; m: Quadratin, El Universal).

Peru 4/24/2014

Ubinas volcano. Volcanic activity and ash emission continues. Cases of conjunctivitis increase in San Juan Tarucani. Response: Strengthening of medical and psychological response by medical brigades, as well as support in the evacuation of Moquegua. Preventive measures and monitoring ongoing in communities affected by ashfall in Puno. Humanitarian aid sent to population in shelters. (o.s: INDECI, Ministry of Health, INGEMMET; m: El Comercio, Crónica Viva).

Bolivia 4/24/2014

Cochabamba department. Omereque municipality. A drought is affecting seven towns and affecting agriculture. Municipal emergency declared. (m: ABI).

Hospital Disaster Planning Course Updated


In 2009, PAHO/WHO revised the course materials for Hospital Planning for Disaster Response, with the collaboration of professionals from Central and South America. In updating the course, material was included on important aspects of hospital preparedness, including pandemic influenza pandemic, climate change, new concepts about safe hospitals, and the Hospital Safety Index.

Participants reviewed the course sequence and content to make sure that the course presents a practical model of the hospital emergency plan, which is the main objective of the course.

As part of the revision process, an analysis of experiences throughout the region was made. The Risk Management Team for Costa Rica’s Social Security Fund agreed to prepare the first draft. A workshop in Nicaragua was convened, where experts from Central and South America analyzed the content and methodology proposed for the new version. Finally, materials were tested at the Hospital de Cobán in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. New recommendations emerging from that trial were incorporated in the training materials.

Currently, the course is available in Spanish only. It can be accessed here.


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Knowledge Center on Public Health and Disasters 



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