Issue 113 May 2010

This issue

What's New at CRID

The Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID)’s mission is to promote the development of a culture of prevention in Latin American and Caribbean countries through the compilation and dissemination of disaster-related...

The CDC presents a guide to the use of social networking to improve health messages

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of the Associate Director for Communications, Division of News and Electronic Media has made the Health Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit available...

International Day for Disaster Reduction, 2010: “Making Cities Resilient"

Belts of chronic poverty, growing populations, inadequate housing, unplanned development, and insufficient infrastructure plague many cities and urban centers and help to intensify the impact of natural threats. These vulnerable...

The HELP course offers useful tools for disaster situations

The International Committee of the Red Cross created the HELP (Health Emergencies in Large Populations) course in 1986 to enhance professionalism in humanitarian assistance programs in emergency situations. 

Costa Rica hosts disaster training

Emergency and disaster experts from Central America and Ecuador took part in a simulation as part of a regional workshop between 19 and 23 April in San José, Costa Rica....

Hospital disaster planning course updated

In 2009, PAHO/WHO worked to revise its course materials for Hospital Planning for Disaster Response with the participation and collaboration of professionals from Central and South America. The process allowed...

ISDR launches the 2010–2011 world campaign for disaster reduction

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) has launched a Web site for the 2010–2011 global campaign for disaster reduction. The campaign theme is: “Making Cities Resilient: My...

U.S. National Library of Medicine’s focus on disaster information

The National Library of Medicine of the U.S. National Institutes of Health recognizes the importance of improving information management and access to information resources about health and disasters as a...

UNASUR sets strategies for health emergencies and disasters

The South American Council of Health, comprising the Ministers of Health of member countries of the Union of South American Nations, held its second regular meeting between 29 and April...

Hospital safety index adapted for small health facilities

Based on the experience gained with the hospital safety index (HSI) in hospitals, a new assessment tool has been developed by PAHO for less complex health facilities, including primary care...

A self-assessment tool to reduce disaster risk in the health sector

During discussions at the 2008 Caribbean Health Disaster Coordinators meeting, and in the framework of PAHO’s Disaster Strategic Plan, participants rallied around the idea of developing a health sector Self-Assessment...

The health cluster: successes and obstacles in Haiti

United Nations humanitarian reform introduced the “cluster” or sectoral approach, which is a group of humanitarian agencies and organizations that work together to achieve more coordinated, more efficient, and more...

PROMESS crucial in providing medications in Haiti

The Program of Essential Medicines and Supplies (PROMESS), administered by PAHO/WHO, has been the central distributor of medicines and medical supplies throughout Haiti since 1992. The earthquake in January did...

Earthquake in Chile shows benefits of disaster preparedness

An earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale struck Chile on 28 February, leaving 521 dead and 56 missing. The quake impacted 6 of the country’s 13 regions, where 80%...

PAHO’s 2010-2015 plan for safe hospitals

The PAHO Directing Council, made up by the Health Ministers of PAHO Member States, has adopted several resolutions on safe hospitals in recent years, urging countries to adopt national policies...

Venezuela on the way to safe hospitals

Venezuelan authorities are developing a strategy to strengthen safety of the country’s hospitals. Action is being taken with broad participation from professionals who are committed to optimal response from health...

Environmental health: from global to local

The first edition of Environmental Health, from Global to Local, published by PAHO/WHO, is now available in both English and Spanish. This book aims to build, systematize, and disseminate knowledge,...

Virtual Journey through a safe hospital

The multimedia training program, Virtual journey through a safe hospital is now available on DVD in its English version. The program combines video, animation, three-dimensional images, and sound, and includes...

Healthy hospitals, healthy planet: facing climate change

Climate change is no longer a future threat but a reality, one that is changing the natural and human environment, eroding the balance of the ecosystems of our planet and...

Guidelines for reconstrucction after a disaster

The World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery have launched the manual Safer Homes, Stronger Communities: A Handbook for Reconstructing after Natural Disasters. It was prepared...

World Disaster Report from the IFRC

Early warning systems save lives and reduce economic losses at all levels, but they still are not integrated into disaster management and risk reduction globally. This topic is the focus...

LSS/SUMA assists in managing supplies in Haiti

Following the earthquake on January 12 in Haiti, PAHO/WHO mobilized a Logistics Support System team (LSS/SUMA) to support the work of receiving, sorting, and distributing humanitarian supplies. The magnitude and...

Interview

Gerard Gómez, Head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the Latin American and Caribbean region (OCHA), responds to questions about the earthquake in Haiti, the...

What can we really learn from the earthquake in Haiti?

In a matter of months, two major seismic disasters affected the Region: in Haiti, at least 200,000 victims died in a magnitude 7 earthquake (January 12), while in Chile a...