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 7/22/2014

Bolivar Department. Gale causes damage to 293 homes in five municipalities, in schools and public buildings, and temporary cuts in electric service. Municipal authorities of Zambrano will provide shelter to those affected. (m.: El Universal).

Ecuador 7/22/2014

Sucumbíos Province. Lago Agrio Municipality. Oil spill affects at least eight families of the Kichwa Sinchiurco indigenous community; water deposits and roofs of homes have been contaminated. (m.: El Universo).

Honduras 7/22/2014

Drought. A humanitarian assistance plan and agricultural support will start on 1 August for 72,000 families affected by the drought in 64 municipalities, in ten departments. Support from WFP and FAO. (o.s.: COPECO; m.: El Heraldo)

Peru 7/22/2014

Ubinas Volcano. Increased seismic activity. An explosion was registered early Monday, forming columns 4,500 meters above the peak of the volcano; ash has fallen in eight towns surrounding the volcanoes. Families evacuated from Querapi have been relocated to Pampas de Jaguay (o.s.:INDECI ; m.: Andina).

Venezuela 7/22/2014

Portuguesa State. Papelón, Sucre, and Guanare municipalities. Floods cause one death and affect 1,021 families; Papelón has suffered the brunt of the damage. State response, mobilization of health teams, increased epidemiological monitoring. (m.: Noticia al Día, Venezolana de TV, El Nacional).

Colombia 7/22/2014

Bolivar Department. Gale causes damage to 293 homes in five municipalities, in schools and public buildings, and temporary cuts in electric service. Municipal authorities of Zambrano will provide shelter to those affected. (m.: El Universal).



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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