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

Chile 4/15/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfires update. (12-15 April) 15 dead, 11,000 affected and 12,400 people evacuated. Of the evacuees, 1,018 are in nine shelters. 2,300 homes are damaged. There is an increase in respiratory illness cases due to the smoke. The majority of victims remain in the affected areas. The fire continues to have some active focal points. Response: Health authorities are reorganizing and increasing health services capacity. Seven mental health teams are working in shelters and vaccination being implemented for those sheltered as well as volunteers. Trucks are distributing water and water tanks are being installed in shelters. There is a health alert for the Valparaíso region. The Government has sent humanitarian aid and emergency temporary homes to Valparaíso. (o.s: Ministry of Health, ONEMI, CONAF, ESVAL, PAHO Office in Chile)

Arica y Parinacota and Tarapaca regions. 8.2M earthquake update (1-15 April). A 5.3 magnitude aftershock occurred with no reports of further damages. Total: 21,813 people affected, 912 people in nine shelters, and 15,300 damaged homes. Iquique Hospital is 80% operational and a mobile unit is supporting a health center in Alto Hospicio, but the rest of the health network is fully operational. (o.s: ONEMI, Chile Seismology, PAHO Office in Chile)

Nicaragua 4/15/2014

Earthquake update (10-14 April). Total: 2 dead, 266 injured, and 6,628 people affected in Nagarote. 1,585 people were evacuated; of them, 710 people are in shelters in Managua (647) and Nagarote (67). There are minor damages, such as cracks, in 22 health facilities, and 2,375 homes are affected. Shallow seismic activity continues near Motobombo volcano. Response: Medical brigades mobilized, health services reorganized, and field hospitals deployed as a preventive measure in Managua. The majority of medical consults have been mental health related. UN Agencies offered technical assistance and international organizations are on alert. Cuba and Venezuela sent humanitarian aid as well as seismologists to provide technical support. An extreme red alert has been declared on the national level. (o.s: UNETE, Government of Nicaragua, INETER, PAHO Office in Nicaragua; m: El 19 Digital)

Bolivia 4/15/2014

Floods update (January-14 April): In Guayamerín, the water level is decreasing, but the state of emergency continues due to the possibility of the Mamoré river rising. Seven rivers accros the country are on red alert. Beni department continues to receive support. (o.s: Hydrographic Naval Service; m: Prensa Latina, FM Noticias)

Colombia 4/15/2014

Cauca department. Update on displacement in Guapí (14 March-12 April). Clashes cause an additional 137 people to be displaced. 428 people return to Joanico, but 378 still remain in shelters. (f.o: OCHA Colombia)

Chile 4/15/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfires update. (12-15 April) 15 dead, 11,000 affected and 12,400 people evacuated. Of the evacuees, 1,018 are in nine shelters. 2,300 homes are damaged. There is an increase in respiratory illness cases due to the smoke. The majority of victims remain in the affected areas. The fire continues to have some active focal points. Response: Health authorities are reorganizing and increasing health services capacity. Seven mental health teams are working in shelters and vaccination being implemented for those sheltered as well as volunteers. Trucks are distributing water and water tanks are being installed in shelters. There is a health alert for the Valparaíso region. The Government has sent humanitarian aid and emergency temporary homes to Valparaíso. (o.s: Ministry of Health, ONEMI, CONAF, ESVAL, PAHO Office in Chile)

Arica y Parinacota and Tarapaca regions. 8.2M earthquake update (1-15 April). A 5.3 magnitude aftershock occurred with no reports of further damages. Total: 21,813 people affected, 912 people in nine shelters, and 15,300 damaged homes. Iquique Hospital is 80% operational and a mobile unit is supporting a health center in Alto Hospicio, but the rest of the health network is fully operational. (o.s: ONEMI, Chile Seismology, PAHO Office in Chile)

PAHO/WHO recognizes the role of birth attendants in displaced communities on the International Women's Day

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Experience in Colombia won the V Best Practices Competition incorporating Gender Equality Perspective

Diocelina has forgotten how many children she has helped to bring into the world. She does not know about numbers but she perfectly understands about the signs of life and, with over 80 years, continues to ensure the welfare of many pregnant women in communities where medicine fails for several reasons. These communities have similar characteristics of poverty, marked ethnic differences and are often in the midst of an armed conflict that has affected them for decades.

On the occasion of the International Women's Day, celebrated every March 8, PAHO/WHO recognizes the work of these traditional birth attendants and awarded the prize of Best Practices that incorporate the Gender Perspective to the initiative "Safe Motherhood in the Pacific Cauca: way to a happy delivery"(Colombia). This initiative aims to train traditional birth assistants to identify protective factors and warning signs of the mother and newborn with the objective of reducing barriers to health services in displaced communities.

The most common reasons for choosing a traditional birth attendant instead of a doctor are related to the distances to reach the nearest health center, the lack of resources and the lack of medical staff in communities ravaged by violence or affected by a disaster. However, there are strong reasons that tip the scales in their favor: respect, affection and trust in the work of these women. This work has been strengthened by the constant exchange of knowledge and expertise with medical staff, nurses and health officials.

"Safe Motherhood in the Pacific Cauca: way to a happy delivery" is a joint effort of the Ministry of Health in Colombia, women's networks and the group of traditional birth attendants with the support of the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief of PAHO/WHO, PAHO/WHO in Colombia and is made possible by funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO). This initiative has been also possible thanks to the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) in the US Department, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Currently this work is being developed in other departments and municipalities in Colombia and has been requested by several UN agencies and health institutions to improve and strengthen safe motherhood through traditional birth attendants in displaced communities. Ensuring the sustainability of these initiatives, PAHO/WHO recognizes the impact that women leaders as Diocelina have on public health of communities affected by violence or emergencies.


More stories related to this initiative (in Spanish):

Toda una vida dando vida

Mujeres dadoras de vida en el pacifico colombiano

 

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