ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2010. Health workers at various levels and other private healthcare services providers in Grenada continue to harness and sharpen their health disaster management skills on how they can save lives in times of emergencies and disasters.
The local healthcare providers are participating in a three-day workshop on Introduction to Health Disaster Risk Management, with a focus on protecting the public’s health during disasters.
The main facilitator of the workshop is Paul Saunders, a prominent Disaster Risk Management consultant in Jamaica. He was contracted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The co-facilitators are Dr. Eric Freixa and Nicole Wynter from the PAHO sub-regional office in Barbados.
All three facilitators highlighted the importance of assessing and understanding disaster risk, as well as the nature and scope of the disaster before springing into action.
According to Saunders although some situations may require immediate action, being personally aware of the situation and having a clearly detailed response plan, is fundamentally important.
The three officials cautioned that it is significantly important for personnel to know and understand the various terms and acronyms widely used in the field of disaster risk management.
Saunders, who has many years of experience in the field of disaster risk management, also commended the Minster for Health, Sen. Ann Peters, and the PAHO country program manager in Grenada Tessa Stroude for their show of support to the participants.
He said the presence of the Minster at the workshop is testimony to the policy direction and political will to support the initiative and process. Throughout the workshop participants were fully engaged in the process and discovered new ways in which the disaster risk management process can be beneficial to them as individuals, their families, friends and others they served.
The three day workshop, which began on Monday in St. George’s, wrapped up with an overview of the Health Disaster Plan for Grenada, a simulation exercise and an assessment of the three-day exercise.
The workshop was implemented in collaboration with PAHO, as part of the CIDA funded project to mainstream health disaster risk reduction in the health sector of CARICOM Member States.
Health Minister Peters addressing the participants at the commencement of the Workshop, Dr. Eric Freixa - PAHO, Tessa Stroude, CPS PAHO
Dr. Eric Freixa of PAHO addresing the participants
Minister Peters encourages the multi-sectoral group of participants