Preparedness

Logistic support system helps in supply management

sumaDORAfter the first cases of cholera were detected in Haiti, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health advocated that having access to the necessary supplies to treat the disease was crucial for the rapid response to cases in its territory. To that end, the Ministry launched a project for strengthening logistic capacity and optimizing supply management, using LSS/SUMA as a model.

As a first step, a strategic warehouse was established to serve the demand for cholera treatment supplies, and for emergencies and disasters. A network of regional warehouses was then created so that the supplies could be mobilized quickly to where they were required, and finally, it was decided that logistics capacity in the management of Ministry of Health supplies should be improved.

This network of warehouses offers accurate information on the distribution of supplies at the national level, deliveries to health centers, immediate needs for decision-making, and assigning resources to meet the demands.

LSS/SUMA has also helped in using resources properly, transparency in supply management, and control in drug rotation, which avoids waste due to expiration dates. Write to venegasj@paho.org for additional information.

Response

Response Activities Continue in The Bahamas

Response_BAHPAHO/WHO’s Regional Response Team was mobilized to The Bahamas, after the passage of Hurricane Irene, to support the Ministry of Health in damage assessment, environmental health, water and sanitation, epidemiology, vector control, evaluation of hospitals, and coordination.

An epidemiologist was deployed to help in the design and multisectoral coordination of a dengue campaign, and to strengthen the Ministry’s program of epidemiological surveillance. Two specialists—in dengue and vector control—are also helping in this activity. Waste collection is a particularly important challenge for health authorities because the country is facing a dengue outbreak.

At least 11 of the 16 health facilities in the islands of Abaco, Acklins & Crooked, Cat, Long, and New Providence suffered damage that included flooding, damage to ceilings, equipment and electric generators, contamination of wells, and failures in the water and electric supply systems. The main hospital in The Bahamas, located in Nassau, was also affected.

Write to vanalphe@paho.org for additional information on the response in The Bahamas.

Safe Hospitals

Riobamba’s Hospital Administrates its Own Disaster Risk

HospitalSeguro_ECUThe Riobamba General Provincial and Teaching Hospital in Riobamba, Ecuador, has undertaken several activities to improve its performance in case of emergencies and disasters. The first was the evaluation of its hospital safety index. Based on the results, it developed action plans for the short-, medium- and long-term.

The implementation of these plans has been a fundamental stepping stone in the creation of a preparedness culture for disaster response. This is done through the hospital’s emergency operations committee, in coordination with provincial and national entities from the Ministry of Health.

Short-term plans had PAHO/WHO support until October 2010. The planning improved the hospital’s organization and increased health personnel’s capacities in the subject. Maintenance personnel was also included to solve issues related to electricity, water supply, internal and external communications, security of essential equipment, among others.

Medium- and long-term plans are still being implemented with human and economic resources from the hospital and the Ministry of Health. Important financial investments have been made for the structure, acquisition of supplies, and rehabilitation of services. On the other hand, problems have been solved, such as having an uninterrupted water supply, with a 72-hour reserve (it was only 8 hours previously). Write to alvaradop@ecu.ops-oms.org for more information.

Advocacy
27 países y territorios de América Latina y el Caribe han aplicado el Índice de Seguridad Hospitalaria.

DidYouKnow_universidadThe Safe Hospitals initiative promoted by PAHO/WHO and its strategic partners has shifted to the academic level, where awareness is raised on the need to make safer health facilities. Agreements made with the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and the Don Bosco University in El Salvador are good examples of this achievement.

Thanks to these alliances, students at engineering and architecture faculties at the universities support in the training of personnel and in evaluating the safety of health facilities, which has a multiplying effect when the time comes to design and build new health facilities in the Region.

PAHO/WHO recognizes and values the important role played by theses students in disaster risk reduction, mitigation and disaster preparedness in communities, and so it joins in the global celebration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which this year is focused on young people.

 

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