PAHO/WHO, with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), are supporting Peru’s Ministry of Health and regional authorities with the health needs resulting from the earthquake of 15 August 2007 in Ica.
The project encompasses the construction of a maternal and child center in Pisco; recovery of services in the primary health network of Ica and Huancavelica; strengthening technical capacity for the epidemiologic surveillance system; improving the regional public health laboratory; and increasing coordination for disaster and emergency response among different sectors at the national, regional, and local levels by setting up Emergency Operations Centers and developing technical capacity.
The 7.9 magnitude earthquake, which affected several provinces, killing 519 people, injuring 1,366, and affecting 863,597 people. The public and social security health networks suffered considerable damage. According to official reports, 11 facilities were completely destroyed and 111 suffered different levels of damage. The 110-bed San Juan de Dios hospital was the most severely impacted. In addition to the health services, Pisco’s water and sewerage systems were severely affected. There are major difficulties in the process of latrine construction and supply of safe water, both in terms of quantity and quality. The management of solid waste, surveillance of food management, and proliferation of harmful fauna continue to be matters of concern.