Cover Image
close this bookDisasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 46 - April, 1991 (PAHO)
View the documentThe private sector: crossing over the fence
View the documentNews from PAHO/WHO
View the documentOther organizations
View the documentUpcoming meetings and courses
View the documentMember countries
View the documentWorld health day
View the documentReview of publications
View the documentSelected bibliography

Member countries

Caribbean: Health Disasters Coordinators Meet

Health Disaster Coordinators from the Caribbean countries met in St. Lucia in March. The Health Coordinators discussed national health agreements within the context of a Caribbean response mechanism now that the Pan Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Project has terminated. They also placed emphasis on the need to prepare prepackaged public health information that would be available for rapid dissemination before, during and after disasters. The participants also endorsed two important documents: the

Guidelines on the Role of Women in Disaster Management (which they will present at the annual meeting of National Disaster Coordinators) and the Approach to the development of Health Sector District Disaster Management Plans in the Caribbean (a methodology, tested in three countries, for developing community disaster plans.) Both of these documents are available from the Editor of this Newsletter.

Barbados: New Base for Disaster Response Agency

Caribbean Heads of Government have selected Barbados as the head quarters for Caribbean Disaster Response Agency, which will be created to coordinate an intra-Caribbean response to difficult post-disaster situations. More information will appear in future issues of this newsletter.

Cholera Epidemic in South America

Emergency health managers in several countries in South America are facing a new challenge, added to the natural and manmade disasters that already threaten their countries. The confirmation of a few cases of cholera in Peru in late January, has now turned into a mayor epidemic. In Peru alone, more than 177,000 people were affected nationwide by mid-May. Thirteen hundred have died from cholera. The emergency situation is also seriously affecting Ecuador which reports almost 7,000 cases. Colombia, Chile and Brazil have been affected to a lesser degree, reporting 210, 38, and 6 cases respectively.

PAHO has prepared the following information documents (in Spanish only): Pautas para el Control del Cólera - Medidas Preventivas en el Sector Ambiental para Enfrentar la Amenaza and Reglas de Oro de la OMS para la Preparación Higiénica de los Alimentos. Copies are available from the Editor of this Newsletter.

In addition, the Organization has prepared a special issue of its Epidemiological Bulletin on cholera. Single issues are available from the Editor.


Cholera is spread by contaminated food and water.


Severe dehydration can lead to death if it is not quickly treated.


Health promoters educate the public about control measures.