One of the first actions at the regional level of the Technical Commission of Risk Management in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CTGERS) has been the development of the "Central American Plan for Comprehensive Risk Management of Public Health Disasters and Emergencies, 2013 -2018". This plan brings together the strategic elements for regional work in the field of integrated risk management in the health sector, the areas to work on, and the operating plan to be implemented in 2013.

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Most of the active volcanoes in the world are located in Latin America and the Caribbean, and millions of people live in villages and towns nearby. Throughout history, many of these volcanoes have shown great capacity for destruction. Therefore, the health sector must be prepared to face the risk from the location of population centers and health facilities in areas with volcanic influence.

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In order to improve the capacity of communication professionals in the management of information during emergencies in Central America and the Dominican Republic, a workshop was held on September 6 in San Salvador dedicated to Risk Communication and Disaster Prevention. This event was part of the Regional Workshop for the Preparation of communication products organized by the Executive Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic, SE COMISCA.

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An Important Step to Have a Better Prepared Health Sector

The first meeting to form the Health Sector's Technical Committee on Disaster Risk Management of the Health Sector was held in Panama, with the participation of delegates from the ministries of health of Central America and the Dominican Republic and those responsible for leading emergency coordination, preparedness and response activities.

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During the implementation of the project Safe Hospitals and Urban Risk significant progress has been achieved related with the strengthening of the health sector in the region and improvements in the safety of health facilities. One of the biggest factors of success has been the multiplier effect through partnerships with Universities and national partners. Several universities in the region (the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala and the Universidad Don Bosco in El Salvador, among others) use the resources recommended by PAHO/WHO to sensitize students about the need of building safer hospitals.

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