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 7/31/2014

Sucre Department. Caimito and San Benito Abad Municipalities. Strong winds and rains damage 110 homes. Departmental and local response. Windy weather will continue to November in Sucre. (m.: El Espectador)

Guatemala 7/31/2014

Alta Verapaz Department. Panzós Municipality. Landslides and floods from overflow of the Polochic River affect more than 15,000 people and damage 2,526 homes and crops in 57 communities. Municipal government declares red alert. (o.s.: CONRED)

Honduras 7/31/2014

Drought affects agricultural production. The government estimates that it will affect 76,000 families; they have begun distribution of food and water to 25,000 families in 28 municipalities in El Paraíso, Choluteca Valle, and La Paz. Food and water, retention, and water storage assistance available. (o.s.: Presidencia de Honduras; m.: El Heraldo)

Colombia 7/31/2014

Sucre Department. Caimito and San Benito Abad Municipalities. Strong winds and rains damage 110 homes. Departmental and local response. Windy weather will continue to November in Sucre. (m.: El Espectador)



Essential Medicines List for Emergencies and Disasters in the Caribbean

Every year, countries are faced by threats of hurricanes, floods, landslides, earthquakes and volcanoes. Several diseases have been observed in the aftermath of such disaster situations. For example, floods can potentially increase the transmission of water-borne diseases; vector-borne diseases can also be observed. Other illnesses of main concern after disaster events are skin problems and trauma, and of less occurrence are rabies, Clostridium dificile, tetanus, snake bite, meningitis, acute respiratory infections, and acute malnutrition. Mental health problems may also increase following a disaster. However, as the disaster impact worsens; the risk of communicable diseases, especially among women and children, is a health threat to the community.

Soon after an emergency, it is important to focus in providing continuous health services in health facilities, disease surveillance, and providing the needed essential medicines. During emergencies and disasters, a standard medicines list permits an effective response with medicines and medical devices using standard, pre-packed kits that could be kept in readiness to meet priority health needs. The provision of the medicines from this publication will help in reducing any excess in morbidity and mortality due to communicable and non communicable diseases in populations affected by disasters and emergencies.

This technical document is the result of the inter-programmatic work of PAHO/WHO’s Area of Health Systems Based on Primary Health Care/Medicines and Health Technologies and the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief. Essential medicines have been selected with due regard to disease prevalence, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness. The 16th Edition of the Model List of Essential Medicines (2010) and the Interagency Emergency Health Kit (2006) were used as references.

The list is proposed as a first approach to be used as contribution for the national disaster preparedness plans which need to be updated regularly.

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