Regional Disaster Risk Coordinators and Communicatiors Meet at Risk Communications Workshop

The Regional Workshop on Risk Communications was held from 4-6 February 2013 in Panama. The objective was strengthening the capacities of professionals in the Regional Network of Communicators and members of the Technical Committee for Risk Management in the Health Sector (CTGERS) of Central American and the Dominican Republic.

The workshop's keynote speaker was Dr. Rolando Hernandez, Executive Secretary of SE COMISCA (Executive Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic). It was held as part of the activities of the Central American Plan for Comprehensive Risk Management of Public Health Emergencies and Disasters, approved last December during the XXXVII Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic.

Participants included communicators and health promoters from the Ministries of Health and Social Security Institutions of Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Panama, as well as risk management coordinators from the region. PAHO/WHO's Disasters Program and CAR CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Regional Office for Central America) provided technical support.

During the workshop participants shared their experiences related to communications and information management in past emergencies, and analyzed the lessons learned. This meeting will establish partnerships between the network of communicators and CTGERS and thus will help in the development of a strategy and a common work plan for future emergencies.