Books

The Hospital Escuela in Honduras has conducted a vulnerability study of its non-structural elements to ensure that basic services continue to operate in their facilities in emergency situations, which is when they are needed most The results of this study have been published in print and on CD-ROM.   (Only available in Spanish)

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When a disaster occurs, the evaluation of damages is a fundamental action for the appropriate decision making, which implies not only the assessment of the health of the population - of the victims and those affected - but also the sanitary conditions that exist as a consequence of the event itself and the evaluation of the establishments that offer health services. This process allows to determine the needs of the most affected sectors and specifically the quantitative and qualitative aspects of health care (Only available in Spanish) 

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A short technical guide is available to accompany the new video on volcanoes "Health Planning for Volcanic Crisis". Both the video, and now the guide, focus on the principal health hazards of volcanic eruptions, together with the basic planning measures the health sector can and should take to reduce potential effects. The guide is intended to serve as reference material that can be consulted before, during or after viewing the program. The text of the guide has been modified and adapted from the original video script.

Click here to see the guide in PDF format.

 

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Guidelines for Vulnerability Analysis

Vulnerability analysis --the topic of this publication --provides a simple approach for assessing the vulnerability of system components to the impact of hazards in a particular area. The outcome of the analysis will define the necessary mitigation measures and emergency response procedures should a disaster occur.  

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This document is intended to serve as a guide for those who may be called upon to make emergency decisions after disaster strikes. The recommended environmental health measures have been listed in the order of priority in which they should be taken during an emergency. However, each natural disaster is unique in the degree or type of emergency it poses. In response to any given disaster, decision makers may find it necessary to change the priority assigned to any particular measure.

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This booklet highlights the most important features of SUMA, the supply management system, developed as a technical information management and coordination tool, which became a symbol of transparency in dealing with humanitarian supplies.

This computerized supply management system attempts to make order of the chaos often caused by uncoordinated humanitarian relief. The system initially targeted health-related supplies in the aftermath of a disaster. At the urging of most Latin American countries, the scope of SUMA was broadened to include all relief items. It formally started operations in 1992 with the financial support of the Government of the Netherlands, and currently has more than 2,500 trained volunteers around the world, an integrated logistics course (MISE), and is included in the curriculum of several universities.

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In the Aftermath of Sudden-Impact Disasters

Natural and complex disasters can cause a dramatic increase in the demand for emergency medical care. Local health services can be overwhelmed, and damage to clinics and hospitals can render them useless. Unfortunately, experience has shown that in the case of natural disasters field hospitals often have not met the expectations of recipients and donor institutions.

In July 2003, the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization sponsored the workshop "Hospitals in Disasters--Handle with Care." One of the subjects discussed was the pros and cons of using foreign field hospitals in the aftermath of natural disasters. These guidelines are part of the result of that working meeting

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altThe second edition of this publication reflects scientific and technical developments in the field of mass fatality management, and lessons learned from the use of the manual. When a major disaster strikes, the first people on the scene are often local organizations, residents and volunteers. They are often faced with the retrieval and immediate management of dead bodies before forensic experts can arrive.

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Conclusions and Recommendations

These recommendations and conclusions were based on discussions in more than 20 working sessions during the Meeting on the Evaluation of Preparedness and Response to Hurricanes Georges and Mitch. The participants discussed the most relevant aspects of national and international response to Hurricanes Georges and Mitch, which hit the Caribbean and Central America in 1998.

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