Hospitals, A Global Strategy
In the framework of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting, held in Geneva, WHO and PAHO organised a workshop on disaster risk reduction in health facilities and the health sector to call attention to the serious effects that emergencies, disasters and other crises have on health and the impact they have on development.
WHO and PAHO have joined forces with the ISDR to launch the 2008-2009 world campaign for disaster reduction, dedicated to Safe Hospitals. The campaign will focus on all health facilities - big and small – to ensure that these critical installations remain functional during and after disaster situations.
The meeting discussed the impact of disasters in health facilities, and on why mitigation measures should be included during the planning, reconstruction and rehabilitation of health facilities. The Safety Index for Hospitals, which has been tested in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, was presented and offered as an instrument to assess the progress. For more information contact Patricia Bittner, [email protected]
Updates: Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Region of the Americas
Jungle Yellow Fever (JYF) in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina
In 2007 and the beginning of 2008, Brazil reported an intense and extensive epizootic of Jungle Yellow Fever in an area encompassing 6 states (Goiás, the Federal District, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Tocantins, and São Paulo). The State Health Departments have confirmed the epizootic based on laboratory and clinical epidemiological criteria. In the past two months, 26 confirmed human cases were reported in 3 federal states (Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, and the Federal District); 13 of the patients died. The affected areas have high vaccination coverage. Nevertheless, as part of ongoing control measures, health authorities have intensified vaccination for people living in or traveling to affected areas.