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World Health Day, April 7, marks the anniversary of the 1948 founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year's focus is on the need to make hospitals and health facilities safe in disasters and other emergencies. Browse through this web site to learn more about the urgency and feasibility of making hospitals and health facilities safe in disasters, and find suggestions for individual and organizational action. We hope you will use this information to raise awareness and mobilize support for safe hospitals throughout 2009 and beyond.

A World Health Day video message from the Director of PAHO

PAHO Director, Dr. Mirta RosesWhen disaster strikes, our immediate concern is to save lives, help the injured, and restore the well-being of affected communities. We cannot accomplish this without one essential lifeline: our hospitals. Hospitals should never be allowed to become disaster victims themselves... [Watch it!]

World Health Day celebration in Washington, D.C.

  • World Health Day ceremony:
    Click here to view the preliminary agenda.
    Read more about the panelists who will speak about this important issue at the World Health Day event .
  • Safe Hospitals Expo: On April 6 and 7, NGOs, professional associations, government agencies and PAHO technical units will showcase what they are doing with regard to hospitals and emergencies.
    Click here to see who will participate.

Learn more about hospitals safe from disasters
(Publications, photos and multimedia, links to web sites and much more)

  • Click here to browse through PAHO/WHO's  online catalog of publications, awareness information and technical material on hospitals safe from disasters. 
  • Do you know how safe your hospital is?  Learn more about the Hospital Safety Index, a low cost tool that is helping countries determine the likelihood that health facilities will function in emergency situations.
  • Preview a 15-minute video program on what makes hospitals safe from disasters.
    Take a look at a similar program that focuses on the Caribbean.
    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to receive a DVD of either program.
  • Witness the impact of the 2007 earthquake in Peru on health and health facilities. View slideshow.
  • All in one place! A variety of publications from PAHO/WHO and from other agencies and countries on issues related to safe hospitals. Check out the online version.

World Health Day graphic materials

A call to action on safe hospitals

Participate! Disaster-resilient hospitals and health facilities are everyone’s right. They are also everyone’s responsibility. How can you make a difference? Here are some suggestions.

Celebrate! There are many ways to celebrate World Health Day 2009 in hospitals and health centers, universities, professional associations and other organizations, and even in the media. Here are some ideas.


Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2009 03:34

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