Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean
Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
New Publications from PAHO/WHO
(only in Spanish)
Now that we are in between Niños, it is important to go back to the 1997-98 occurrence to extract the experiences and lessons learned, and better prepare ourselves for the next episode, which may once again bring loss of life, the spread of disease, and damage to crops and the economy, affecting the way of life of millions around the planet, particularly in developing countries.
The impact of El Niño, diffuse in time and space, affecting several countries in different ways, is not as telegenic as an earthquake or a hurricane. Yet the duration, extent, and magnitude of the last episode provoked an unprecedented institutional response in the region, well worth documenting. El Niño longer interests only physicists, meteorologists, and oceanographers, butincreasinglydecision-makers and the general public.
This book serves as a technical and institutional retrospective of the El Niño impact on the health sector, and shows how the 1997-98 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) deeply affected daily life and public health in most of the countries of Latin America. It may be consulted (and downloaded) in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format at http://www.paho.org/spanish/ped/ElNino.htm
A small number of copies are available through the Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID), Apdo. 3745-1000, San José, Costa Rica, fax +506 231-5973, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.disaster.info.desastres.net/crid
Or you may order this and other books from PAHO/WHO, 525 Twenty-third St., N.W. Washington DC 20037, or by emailing email@example.com
If you were impressed by The Consequences of Disasters on Public Health, originally published by Oxford University Press in 1997, and would like to share it with your Spanish-speaking colleagues, PAHO has just made available the Spanish translation of this important work.
Earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, fires, and many other types of disasters have taken more than three million lives in the past 20 years and affected the lives of 800 million others, causing over US$50 billion dollars in damage to property and infrastructure. In the last decade alone, the number of internal and external refugees due to war, famine, and drought nearly doubled. Almost every day, a disaster takes place somewhere around the globe. Population growth in flood plains, along vulnerable coastlines, and near geological fault lines, as well as the rapid industrialization of developing countries, will probably increase the threat of natural and technological disasters in the coming years.
The book offers a close look at the causes of disasters and their consequences for public health, and aims to help improve disaster prevention, monitoring, and response policies. It relies on epidemiology as a basic tool for disaster analysis and control. The authorsalmost all of them officials of the United States Centers for Disease Controltake advantage of their many years experience to provide the reader with in-depth technical descriptions of the main types of disasters, both natural and complex, offering a variety of examples and the chief findings of epidemiological surveys on the effects of disasters on public health. They pay special attention to prevention and control measures, and offer recommendations that public health officials will find highly useful.
This is an essential work of reference for health professionals who must make decisions concerning disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response, and in general for all those interested in reducing the often devastating impact of disasters on public health.
This publication outlines
the health sectors role in reducing the impact of disasters, laying
out a framework that an administrator can rely on to make effective decisions
in managing the health sectors activities to reduce the consequences
The book is primarily aimed at health sector professionals who participate in disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation. Disaster management has become such an intersectoral enterprise, however, that anyone interested in disaster mitigation will find here a useful primer. Public health students and professors also can rely on this book in formal and informal courses.