Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


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Monitoring Emergencies



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

Colombia 7/25/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. The Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) has asked the national government and territorial authorities for emergency humanitarian intervention, to prevent infant mortality from diseases caused by the water shortages. The national government has announced an strategy to mitigate the effects of the shortage: drilling, distribution of water through tank cars, increased methods to control fires, support for agriculture. UNGR has distributed food and water kits and taken steps to clean water reservoirs in the Uribía municipality, in two phases, benefitting 26,000 families. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, Presidencia de Colombia, UNGRD; m.: Caracol)

Paraguay 7/25/2014

Floods update. River levels decreasing. Response: Continued support to those affected; 15,958 people have received assistance in Asunción. Installation of sanitation modules in affected areas of Asunción continues; a total of 100 will be installed. SEN (Paraguay) authorities have met with authorities from the Argentine Prime Minister’s Office and the Formosa (Argentina) province to coordinate bilateral collaboration before a possible El Niño phenomenon. (o.s.: Oficina de OPS en Paraguay, Ministerio de Salud, Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional; m.: Naineck Prensa Digital).

Colombia 7/25/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. The Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) has asked the national government and territorial authorities for emergency humanitarian intervention, to prevent infant mortality from diseases caused by the water shortages. The national government has announced an strategy to mitigate the effects of the shortage: drilling, distribution of water through tank cars, increased methods to control fires, support for agriculture. UNGR has distributed food and water kits and taken steps to clean water reservoirs in the Uribía municipality, in two phases, benefitting 26,000 families. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, Presidencia de Colombia, UNGRD; m.: Caracol)



PAHO Post-Disaster Guidelines for Oral Health

Natural disasters and other emergency events cause suffering to the affected population and generally disrupt the local health care system’s capacity to function. The negative impact on health services not only can undermine years of work toward improving the health system infrastructure but also introduce new barriers to the provision of primary care services, including dental and oral health. In previous disasters, oral health has been overlooked and has not been identified as a priority, even though it is an integral part of overall health that cannot be ignored.

In order to make oral health an important factor within the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services during the post-disaster recovery and rebuilding process of the health care system, it is necessary to facilitate the joint and integrated disaster response actions of the many governmental and non-governmental humanitarian aid groups involved. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide technical assistance to humanitarian actors interested in restoring and rebuilding oral health services in countries and communities affected by disasters. The guidelines will serve five primary purposes:

  1. Assist local emergency response decision–makers to determine needs on a priority basis;
  2. Sustain the implementation of appropriate emergency response measures and plans;
  3. Support the appeal to local and international potential donors to consider making a contribution to oral health programs and services;
  4. Facilitate the procurement, shipment, storage, delivery, and monitoring of donations; and
  5. Strengthen the existing oral health system by integrating oral health with primary health services.

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