Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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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.

Chile 3/26/2015

Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo: Flash flooding generated by intense rains related to a cold front that affects the northern area of the country and that causing rivers to breach their banks. Seven reported deaths and the 19 missing, nearly 500 homes affected, 35 destroyed and nearly 2000 people in shelters. Atacama is the region that has been primarily affected. According to authorities (ONEMI), the most critical areas affected in Atacama are located in Chañaral, Copiapó, Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla. Damage assessment is in progress but access and communication difficulty hinders data collection. Several hospitals have reported damages and are only partially functioning. The Ministry of Health evaluates the situation of the assistance network and issues adjustments in the services network and a Sanitary Alert in Atacama and recommendations. A State of Emergency decree has been issued for the current emergency. ENFERMEPEDIA.

Ecuador 3/26/2015

  • De Los Rios Province: Areas of Babahoyo and nearby localities flooded after 8 hours of intense rain.   Areas of the center and the periphery were flooded yesterday. The Prefecture, Social Security, terrestrial terminal among others buildings were affected by the floods. (mc.: eluniverso).
  • Via Aloag-Santo Domingo (Update) Landslide site that killed 5 people is declared a cemetery.  The bodies cannot be rescued as the site is not safe.  A total are 13 fatal victims including two people in the parish Alluriquín. (m.: eluniverso).

Peru 3/26/2015

Landslide, March 24, 19:00hrs local time. Choros District, Cajamarca Department; 34 homes affected, 9 collapsed, 25 unsafe to return and 0.5km of rural road also affected.  (os.: INDECI).

Chile 3/26/2015

Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo: Flash flooding generated by intense rains related to a cold front that affects the northern area of the country and that causing rivers to breach their banks. Seven reported deaths and the 19 missing, nearly 500 homes affected, 35 destroyed and nearly 2000 people in shelters. Atacama is the region that has been primarily affected. According to authorities (ONEMI), the most critical areas affected in Atacama are located in Chañaral, Copiapó, Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla. Damage assessment is in progress but access and communication difficulty hinders data collection. Several hospitals have reported damages and are only partially functioning. The Ministry of Health evaluates the situation of the assistance network and issues adjustments in the services network and a Sanitary Alert in Atacama and recommendations. A State of Emergency decree has been issued for the current emergency. ENFERMEPEDIA.



Smart Hospitals Project to Improve Caribbean Facilities

Caribbean countries will have safer, ecofriendly and disaster resilient hospitals. This will be achieved with the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO/WHO) Smart Hospitals initiative, which will support Caribbean countries in improving their health care facilities. 

The project is spearheaded by a team of Caribbean experts and will be piloted at the Georgetown Hospital in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Pogson Medical Centre in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is designed to establish an integrated approach to building and retrofitting health care facilities to ensure that they are environmentally friendly and disaster resilient.

According to PAHO’s Regional Advisor in the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, Dr. Dana Van Alphen, “the project will allow for the development of a ‘Smart Health Care Facilities Annex’ to accompany national building standards and codes and the development of the Smart Hospital Toolkit to guide the implementation of climate change mitigation measures in existing and proposed facilities. It also seeks to enhance national capacity to deliver climate smart health care facilities by providing training workshops, advice through the Disaster Mitigation Advisory Group (DIMAG) and supporting policy strengthening.”

Benefits of having Smart Hospitals

Speaking on the benefits of the project for Caribbean people, Dr. Van Alphen noted that the initiative would see cost savings on health care and utility bills, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improved air quality, enhanced physical access to hospitals, improved access to safe water and improved safety conditions.

She further noted that extensive research and site investigations have taken place at the Georgetown and Pogson Hospitals and these facilities have been assessed against a Smart Hospital Baseline Assessment Tool, designed specifically for this purpose.

This initiative follows and enhances the existing Safe Hospitals project, which advocates for hospitals to be built to ensure continued operation during disasters and that existing hospitals progressively improve their safety levels in this regard.

 

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