Press Releases
WHO and UNICEF call for strengthened risk reduction measures to protect hospitals and schools

GENEVA, 18 June, 2009 – The World Health Organization and UNICEF today called on governments to strengthen risk reduction measures in four key areas so that health and education systems are able to cope with disasters, including the risks from climate change. These are:   

  • Build school and health infrastructure according to disaster resilience standards;
  • Conduct assessment of the safety of hospitals and schools and take remedial action to make them safer;
  • Ensure all hospitals and schools implement emergency and disaster preparedness programmes, including staff training and exercises;
  • Listen to and support communities in disaster risk reduction through education and training.

 

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WHO convenes Asia Pacific meeting in Phnom Penh on safe hospitals

MANILA, 11 December 2008. The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific recently concluded the Regional Consultation on Ensuring Safe Hospitals and Health Facilities in Disasters. This was organized in collaboration with Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization Tropical Medicine and Public Health (SEAMEO TROPMED) Network. 

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UN rings the alarm on health cost of disasters

NEW YORK, 8 October 2008.  This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction falls on the third anniversary of the South Asian Earthquake.  On this day three years ago, 73% of health facilities were destroyed in the affected area of Pakistan, making them unable to function when they were most needed, as millions of people were being affected.   To mark the International Day and promote the World Disaster Reduction Campaign: Hospitals Safe from Disasters launched this year, the UN’s disaster reduction secretariat UNISDR and the WHO are urging governments to invest more in hospital safety.

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WHO calls for Member States to reinforce disaster safe hospitals

MANILA, 18 August 2008.  Calling on Member States to support the 2008-2009 World Disaster Reduction Campaign, the World Health Organization's Regional Office for the Western Pacific said structural safety of hospitals need to be ensured to allow continuous services in times of disaster. The campaign, with the theme "Hospitals Safe from Disasters: Reduce Risk, Protect Health Facilities, Save Lives", aims to raise awareness about why and how to redouble efforts to protect health facilities and staff and how hospitals can ensure their function during and in the aftermath of disasters.

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Asian Ministers pledge support for safe hospitals campaign

MANILA, 10 December 2008. In view of the frequent occurrence and socioeconomic impact of disasters in the Asia Pacific region, ministers involved in planning, disaster management and civil defense have signed a declaration to keep health facilities safe from disasters. The Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia seeks to keep health facilities safe from disasters by intensifying efforts in advocacy; mobilizing resources to ensure safe building structures and medical equipment and facilities; and providing technical support in essential areas of disaster management, such as contingency plans and preparedness activities.

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UN humanitarian chief stresses role of reinforced hospitals in disaster mitigation

NEW YORK, 7 October 2008. With natural disasters claiming 230,000 lives in the first six months of this year alone, the same toll as the massive Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, much more must be invested in disaster reduction and the reinforcement of hospitals should be a top priority, the United Nations relief chief said today.

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Safe Hospitals campaign launched in Manila

MANILA, 3 September 2008. The World Health Organization and the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) launched the Safe Hospitals Campaign last 20 August 2008 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila.  The campaign with the theme "Hospitals Safe from Disasters: Reduce Risk, Protect Health Facilities, Save Lives" aims to raise awareness about why and how to redouble efforts to protect health facilities and staff and how they can ensure their function during and in the aftermath of disasters.
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Safe hospitals save lives during and after crises

GENEVE, 16 July 2008. Myanmar's Cyclone Nargis and China's magnitude 8.0 earthquake in May 2008 caused mass human casualties. They also devastated many health facilities, hampering post-crisis healthcare and raising questions on how best to reconstruct the health infrastructure.

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