|Disasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 18 - January, 1984 (PAHO)|
In compliance with Resolution VII of the twenty-seventh meeting of health ministers of Central America and Panama (REMCAP) (see Newsletter No. 10), a meeting was held in Guatemala from December 5 to 7, 1983, to evaluate progress of national disaster preparedness plans in member countries. The delegates - from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama - reviewed the following areas:
- National programs for health preparedness; their legal aspects, organization and financing, and inter and intrasectorial coordination.
- National activities in environmental sanitation and engineering preparedness.
Among the most important recommendations approved unanimously are:
· Full implementation of Resolution VII, especially regarding the creation of technical units in the health ministries that will be responsible for overall disaster preparedness in the health sector.
· The need to foster cooperation between countries of the Central American subregion.
· Recommend to the governments represented that they request the inclusion of the subject of disaster preparedness in the agenda for discussion at the next PAHO Directing Council meeting.
· Ratification of the support of the subregion for continued development of disaster preparedness activities, through a new resolution to be presented at the next REMCAP meeting.
· Inclusion of training and public awareness activities in national programs.
· The need for periodic meetings to evaluate national and regional progress in this area.
· Inclusion of the subject of disaster preparedness in continuing education programs for in-service health personnel.