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.

Mexico - 8/21/2014

State of Nuevo Leon, Candereyta municipality. An oil spill in Rio San Juan affected between 4,000 and 5,000 people in at least three communities. A water quality analysis is being conducted in surrounding areas. Local response. (m.: Milenio).

Panama - 8/19/2014

Province of Chiriquí. Floods update (17 August). SINAPROC confirmed yesterday the death of nine people and the destruction of over 20 houses. Temporary shelters have been set up. 400 people affected. The President has declared a state of emergency, and the removal of debris has restarted. (o.s.: SINAPROC)

Mexico - 8/19/2014

State of Sonora, Cananea. Potential water contamination due to a sulfuric acid spill in the Sonora river after a structural failure in a copper mine, caused by heavy rains in the area.   According to press reports nearly 40,000 cubic meters of sulfuric acid were spilled. As a security measure, CONAGUA suspended water supply to 20,000 people in the region and is carrying out sampling in different points of the river. (m.: El País)

Mexico - 8/21/2014

State of Nuevo Leon, Candereyta municipality. An oil spill in Rio San Juan affected between 4,000 and 5,000 people in at least three communities. A water quality analysis is being conducted in surrounding areas. Local response. (m.: Milenio).



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.

This publication is only available in  PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the file. Download the software for free from the Adobe website.

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