|Disasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 03 - December, 1979 (PAHO-OPS, 1979, 8 p.)|
In its 4 October, 1979 meeting, the Directing Council of PAHO resolved to thank the Director for the development of the program for preparedness and disaster relief, and for its services to member countries to date. It also urged member governments to establish programs for planning, training and coordination of disaster relief. It also resolved to request the Director to maintain, strengthen, and concentrate the Organization's efforts in areas of need in the health sector, damage assessment, and rehabilitation projects in the fields of preparedness and assistance in disaster.
WHO, Geneva is planning a 10-day seminar in Brussels, Belgium tentatively scheduled for October, 1980, in English, for senior administrators charged with the responsibility for the provision of health services after a disaster has occurred. As details become available, the Newsletter will provide them.
A joint meeting of the International Federation of Surgical Colleges and the World Health Organization, Geneva, is scheduled for 1-4 September, 1980 in Geneva, Switzerland. A main topic for discussion is to be "The Role of Surgery in and after Major Disasters." For further information, contact John Cook, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 18 Nicolson St., Edinburgh EH8 9DW Scotland.
PAHO is preparing a manual for relief operations management personnel of disaster-prone countries that will provide practical information on the requisition, inventory, storage, and distribution of medical supplies. The PAHO Manual on Management of Medical Supplies during Natural Disasters will be ready for distribution late 980.
Copies of health sector disaster plans are being received from member countries. We urge disaster coordinators of member countries to forward copies of their health sector disaster plans to the editor. A compilation of these will be assembled, and notice of their availability will be forthcoming. Sharing these plans will be productive not only that we may all learn from one another, but that as we need to assist one another during disaster operations, we may be aware of existing plans in the affected country.
PAHO has assisted with the translation from English into Spanish of "Country Fact Sheets" on Latin American disaster-prone countries. These were compiled by the League of Red Cross Societies, Catholic Relief Services, Lutheran World Federation, Oxfam, and the World Council of Churches. These Fact Sheets provide basic information and demographic data as well as information on diet, nutritional deficiencies, common illnesses, health services, medical supplies, capacity for handling refrigerated drugs. Fact Sheets are available on request from the editor of the Newsletter.
The senior staff members of PAHO in the Caribbean met in November, 1979 in Barbados to discuss issues pertaining to disaster management and training needs. Similar conferences are planned for Central America and the Andean Region staff in 1980.
A nursing seminar is planned for April, 1980 for regional Caribbean nurses in disaster. A separate seminar scheduled in August. 1979, on the island of Dominica was interrupted when Hurricane David struck the island on the second day of the seminar. The experiences of the seminar participants during and immediately after the disaster impressed upon them the need for a training program in preparedness and planning to ensure health care delivery in the emergency phase of disaster.