As a result of the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, more than 50 health facilities were destroyed or damaged and 200,000 individuals required medical attention and emergency care. Beyond the seismic risk, every year hurricanes continue to cause many casualties in Haiti, while health facilities located in affected areas become inaccessible or unusable due to floods.

Given these facts, PAHO/WHO’s Disaster Program, with the financial support of the World Bank, developed a project focusing specifically on the construction of health infrastructures, which are strategic buildings in Haiti. Not only must health facilities be able to ensure the safety of their personnel and patients, but they also must remain functional at all times to provide timely and quality assistance to the victims of an emergency.

Within the context of reconstruction of the country, this project has developed a Guide for the Construction of Hospitals Resistant to Natural Hazards, which provides contractors involved in the construction of hospitals (local and foreign) with specific recommendations to follow, to ensure the design and construction of infrastructures safe from natural hazards. Other tools complete this guide, including a survey for the evaluation of hospital safety (geographical, structural and functional), as well as didactic material to train professionals in the different requirements related to the seismic and cyclonic context.

All these tools are available (in French only) on PAHO’s website at: