Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


Home

Monitoring Emergencies



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

Colombia 7/24/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. Eight of the 15 municipalities have been declared in state of calamity. Response: National government will determine mitigation measures to address drought and El Niño phenomenon. Declaration of public calamity and sanitary emergency is being considered. Departmental governments of Atlántico and César prepare response plans. 117 municipalities at risk in Colombia, according to National Water Study. Nearly 80% probability that the phenomenon will happen during the final trimester. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, IDEAM: Predicción climática Julio e Informe condiciones actuales y predicción climática; m.:  Caracol, RCN).
Cauca department. Timbiquí municipality. Landslides in open air mine cause seven deaths and two injuries. (m.: El Espectador).
Nariño Department. Pasto municipality. Floods leave 205 families isolated in El Encano zone, another 80 families at risk. Declaration of public calamity by local authorities. (m.: Caracol).

Mexico 7/24/2014

State of Guerrero. Tecpan, Zihuatanejo, and Petatlán municipalities. Heavy rains damage 800 homes in 42 communities and 40 districts. State government response, requesting declaration of emergency. Forecast for heavy rains in the west of the country and intense rains in Veracruz. (o.s.: SMN, Gobierno de Guerrero; m.: Milenio).

Peru 7/24/2014

Loreto department. Oil spill update. 450 people affected, water consumption restrictions in some locations. Response: mobilization of health teams, health personnel remain in the zone, chlorine solution is being distributed and water analysis is being conducted. Local communities request declaration of environmental and sanitary emergency. (o.s.: INDECI; m.: La República)

Colombia 7/24/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. Eight of the 15 municipalities have been declared in state of calamity. Response: National government will determine mitigation measures to address drought and El Niño phenomenon. Declaration of public calamity and sanitary emergency is being considered. Departmental governments of Atlántico and César prepare response plans. 117 municipalities at risk in Colombia, according to National Water Study. Nearly 80% probability that the phenomenon will happen during the final trimester. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, IDEAM: Predicción climática Julio e Informe condiciones actuales y predicción climática; m.:  Caracol, RCN).
Cauca department. Timbiquí municipality. Landslides in open air mine cause seven deaths and two injuries. (m.: El Espectador).
Nariño Department. Pasto municipality. Floods leave 205 families isolated in El Encano zone, another 80 families at risk. Declaration of public calamity by local authorities. (m.: Caracol).



A Contribution to Peace through Health Care Provision

The International Day of Peace, celebrated every year on September 21, is a global opportunity to reflect on how each institution can contribute to conflict reduction and the elimination of violence. PAHO/WHO, through the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, emphasizes in this celebration a contribution to peace in Colombia through the provision of health care for the population displaced due to violence.

A Story From Colombia

At only three years old, Juan David Martinez has already been a victim of violence. In the space of one day, the little boy and his sister had to exchange their toys, school, home and all the comforts they knew due to fear and mistrust. They had to join, along with their parents, the population displaced due to violence and the presence of illegal armed groups in Colombia. According to the Department of Social Prosperity, the forced displacement affects at present approximately 3.9 million Colombians.

"After a very long walk we arrived at a farm but we felt really bad and our children cried a lot. At that moment, we did not have any kind of public assistance and we all got sick. Since Juan David is autistic and he did not receive treatment, he became very aggressive. He went back in the recovery process and he could not walk despite the stimulation exercises that I did with him” says Juan David’s mother, a 26 year old strong woman.

The displaced communities' lack of knowledge regarding their health rights is enormous and they find many barriers when looking for health care. This fact increases the tension among people and makes the daily life of displaced communities even more difficult. Juan David’s mother asked for support in several local associations and, fortunately, she received guidance that ensured that her son received the attention of specialists in pediatric surgery, speech therapy, neurology and all that was needed to restore his health.

Today Juan David, who represents one of the faces of violence in Colombia, has made great improvements. The neurologist confirmed the type of autism that he has in order to define what actions to take and he is now receiving the proper treatment. "He is not aggressive anymore and I hope that everything will be fine now" commented his mother.

These advances in the provision of health services are becoming more evident thanks to the work of several departmental health institutions and the political will of Colombian institutions as well as international organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), through the Program of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief (PED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The achievement, however is of the communities, who are aiming for a better life, and have gotten together in order to reclaim their health rights as part of the “Healthy Route” (Ruta Saludable) program, that is making health services for displaced populations timely and easily accessible.

Story written by the Pan American Health Organization Office in Colombia.
Names of the protagonists have been changed.

More information on the International Day of Peace: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/.

 

Facebook Disasters Twitter Disasters You Tube Disasters

Knowledge Center on Public Health and Disasters 

 


 

Regional Office of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel: +1 (202) 974-3000  Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663