Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean
Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Protecting New Health Facilities from Natural Disasters: Guidelines for the Promotion of Disaster Mitigation PAHO/WHO
Technical knowledge and the experience acquired in the field of disaster reduction have taught us that it is possible to reduce to a minimum both the risk and damage caused by disasters if preventive measures are adopted in the design, construction and maintenance of new health facilities. However, this represents a complex issue that has not been given enough visibility in political and development agendas throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Pan American Health Organization, in cooperation with the WHO Collaborating Center on Disaster Mitigation at the University of Chile, and with the support of the World Bank and the ProVention Consortium, has published the Guidelines for Vulnerability Reduction in the Design of New Health Facilities, aimed at providing assistance to administrators, professionals and technical advisors in the field of health, and whose mission is the design, construction and inspection of projects to build new health facilities.
publication includes a summary of such guidelines, laying emphasis on
how they should be used, by whom and for what purpose. It also includes
recommendations to promote their use throughout the region, among national
authorities, planners and financing agencies involved in the development
of these projects. The document is a tool that introduces the topic in
a quick and direct fashion, and it is intended for understanding the social
and economic benefits of applying disaster mitigation measures to the
design, planning and construction of health facilities. Most importantly,
it shows how to apply these measures in order to achieve protection levels
that not only guarantee human safety but also the security of both health
infrastructure and the operation of services.