Thematic Platform: Disaster Risk Reduction for Health

At the 2009 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, participants supported a proposal to establish a Thematic Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction for Health. The launch of this platform, dedicated to protecting public health through disaster risk reduction, coincides with the International Day for Disaster Reduction on 14 October 2009.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Secretariat for International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) have committed to establish the platform, through which local, national and international partners will collaborate on actions to reduce deaths, injuries and illness from emergencies, disasters and other crises. A key goal of the platform is to improve the health and well-being of millions of people at risk through enhanced risk reduction and emergency preparedness, and by integrating risk reduction in disaster recovery and reconstruction for health.

This document describes the platform’s rationale and terms of reference to facilitate these actions on disaster risk reduction for health.

International Day for Disaster Reduction 2009

Cover image for the WHO podcast
WHO online radio podcast  - Providing health care in times of crisis

WHO experts in disaster risk reduction, along with Goodwill Ambassador Jet Li, discuss why it is crucial to make hospitals safe from disasters. Listen to this episode - duration 5 min [mp3 2.9Mb]

Special report

Review of five London hospital fires an their management.  London National Health Services sites experienced number of significant fires during 2008/09. The experiences in London demonstrate the critical importance of being prepared for emergencies - this report shares lessons learned to support people in the wider National Health Services when developing local plans.

WHO-CDC Bibliography on Safe Health Facilities

WHO has partnered with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) in on the development of an extensive bibliography on Safe Health Facilities. The database of more than 500 citations from many sources and in multiple languages has been refined from over 6000 original citations . The citations have been grouped in the following categories:

  • assessments
  • case studies and lessons
  • exercises and training
  • facility design and construction
  • general preparedness
  • integration and coordination
  • plans and planning
  • recovery
  • security
  • supply management and essential services
  • surge capacity   
  • tools and guidelines

CRID (Panama), US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and PAHO have provided guidance on the project. The bibliography complements CRID's collection of about 50 full-text articles on Safe Hospitals. A search engine will be provided to enable searching of the bibliographic database.

Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER 3) from 2009 – 2014

New Publication ADPC 

Newsletter: Safer health facilities from disaster risk reduction initiatives

ADPC website

Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre will undertake the 60 months project, Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER 3) from 2009 – 2014. The key objectives of the project are to enhance disaster response capacity, reduce mortality, and increase the survival rate of disaster victims at all levels in nine (9) Asian countries, namely, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam; to establish system for enhancing community-level first responder capacity in disaster-prone communities in the six PEER program countries and to improve the capacity of hospitals and medical facilities to be prepared to manage emergencies and mass casualty events in non-PEER countries in Asia.
The Hospitals Safe from Disasters full information kit

Download the full information kit on the World Disaster Reduction Campaign: Hospitals safe from disasters:

ArabicChineseEnglishFrench | Russian | Spanish [ pdf 1.43Mb ]

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