Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


Monitoring Emergencies

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

Bolivia 3/3/2015

Floods update. Cobija, Pando, medical brigades from the brigades of the Ministry of Health assisting the affected population. (os.: MINDEF); (os.: MINSALUD).

Brazil 3/3/2015

Floods update. Authorities from the Ministry inspect municipalities affected by the Rio Acre flooding. National Integration will send 17,000 Emergency care kits, tents and mineral water, in addition technical crews to assist in the recovery of the cities. (os.: DEFENSA CIVIL); (mc.: EFE); (mc.: LAPRENSA).

Ecuador 3/3/2015

Manabí, Floods, and Drought. The Emergency Operations Committee (COE) was activated in order to request assistance for more than 2,000 residents from Julcuy and also to rescue some 600 cattle that still subsist despite the drought, there are about 30 cattle that have died. (m.: ELUNIVERSO).

Bolivia 3/3/2015

Floods update. Cobija, Pando, medical brigades from the brigades of the Ministry of Health assisting the affected population. (os.: MINDEF); (os.: MINSALUD).

Health Response to the Earthquake in Haiti - January 2010

Lessons to be learned for the next massive sudden-onset disaster

The 12 January 2010 earthquake was the most devastating of many major sudden-impact natural disasters affecting Haiti in the last 10 years. The health impact of the earthquake in absolute terms (number of dead and injured) was among the highest in recent times. When the needs are compared to the country’s response capacity, this disaster was truly unprecedented.

The level of response, especially in the health sector, was generous, even overwhelming. Organization of the massive, global response was challenging, and many of the problems seen in past disasters were replayed in Haiti. Information was scarce, decisions were often not evidence-based, and there were serious gaps in overall or sectoral coordination.

The book and the summaries present lessons to be learned from Haiti with the aim of improving the health sector’s response in major, sudden-onset disasters in the future. It also identifies opportunities provided by the disaster for making significant changes in health services in Haiti. One of the key lessons of the Haiti tragedy is that coordination can only be effective where national authorities are equipped to assume leadership and establish relief and recovery priorities.

The publications give particular emphasis to those lessons that are of general interest, i.e., not specific to the case of Haiti. The international community has much to learn from the response in Haiti where it has shown an ability to repeat its errors and shortcomings from past disasters.

Order a copy of the full publication in English or French from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (the summaries are only available in PDF format) or download here in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the files. Download the software for free from the Adobe website.


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Knowledge Center on Public Health and Disasters 



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