Humanitarian Health Action

International Day for Disaster Reduction - 13 October 2010

Making cities resilient: my city is getting ready!

The "Making Cities Resilient" campaign of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction aims to increase the wellbeing and safety of citizens and builds on previous campaigns focusing on the safety of hospitals and schools.

The World Health Organization is marking the day by urging governments, the international community and members of the public to take measures that ensure their existing and new health facilities are resilient enough to survive earthquakes, floods, cyclones and other hazardous events.

WHO recommendations to protect hospitals and health centres from disasters include:

  • National authorities and funding agencies to protect significant investments in health infrastructure by locating new hospitals in safe areas not prone to disasters and construct them in compliance with building standards;
  • Local governments can assess the safety of existing health facilities before disasters occur and highlight what measures, such as retrofitting, should be taken to safeguard them;
  • Hospital managers to ensure that emergency preparedness programmes are in place and staff are trained for their critical roles when an emergency strikes;
  • To develop response plans and systems that ensure all public, private and community sectors, including health, emergency services and transport, know how to coordinate and work effectively in disasters to minimize loss of life and suffering is also critical.

Making our Hospitals Safe from Disasters

The countries within the WHO Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO) regularly face natural disasters just as all other countries all over the world. To commemorate International Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2010, SEARO aims to engage one million people and to build awareness and support for safe hospitals in disasters through a Facebook reaction test. Click on the links below and take the test now.

One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals Campaign

On the occasion of the International Disaster Risk Reduction Day 2010, the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office is highlighting a global advocacy initiative to make schools and hospitals safer from disasters - the One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals Campaign. Click on the links below to find out more about the campaign and the activities in this region.

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