A meeting was held in El Salvador from 25 to 27 February with health disaster coordinators from the Ministries of Health of Central America and PAHO/WHO. The purpose was to share experiences and strengthen national and regional capacity in emergency preparedness and disaster relief.

The representatives from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama prepared a shared work agenda that will be supported by PAHO/WHO in the next two years. It focuses on the review and update of national plans for health risk management, developing common strategies for emergency simulations, and the formation and strengthening of national response teams. Reducing vulnerability in health care facilities will be one of the main areas of work in the subregion, in response to the World Disaster Reduction Campaign “Hospitals Safe from Disasters.”

The countries also agreed to coordinate their actions more closely with the Secretariat for Central American Integration (SICA) and especially the Central American Coordination Center for Natural Disaster Prevention (CEPREDENAC). The disaster coordinators promoted a joint proposal for “Disaster Risk Reduction in the Health Sector,” to be submitted for approval at the next meeting of the RESSCAD (Central American and Dominican Republic health sector meeting). For more information write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..