|Results EPHF 11: Reduction of the impact of emergencies and disasters on health|
This is one of the functions that exhibited a better performance for the Region, with a median of 0.69. The distribution graph below reveals very little variation among the specific results, with the exception of a few countries in which this remains a critical area.
Although most indicators performed well, deficiencies are still observed in the NHA’s management of emergency and disaster reduction (indicator 1). Even though the institutional mechanisms are in place, the results obtained with respect to the management of emergencies and disasters are insufficient.
With respect to the variability of results among countries, indicators 1 and 2 exhibited the greatest variation. Some countries showed a lack of progress, especially with regard to the development of norms and guidelines for action. This indicates that even though this function generally exhibits acceptable performance for the Region, there are still countries with notable weaknesses in this area.
The primary factors determining this function’s performance are:
• Eighty percent of the countries have sectoral plans that are integrated into a national emergency program, and 50% have maps of the risks and threats for emergencies and disasters. In addition, 70% of the countries have specialized agencies in these matters, and 30% stated that their agencies have an assigned budget.
• The lack of coordination within the health sector to manage emergencies and disasters is one of the areas that countries consider critical in the NHA’s management of disasters.
• The health sector’s main weaknesses in managing emergencies and disasters are the approach to mental health problems, the management of health services in the event of emergency, and the periodic implementation of simulation exercises. Furthermore, with respect to personnel training, there was adequate performance in the areas of basic sanitation, infectious and communicable diseases, and disease transmission vectors.
• Good coordination exists with other agencies and international organizations. In general, partnerships are established with the vast majority of organizations responsible for actions during a disaster. There is also collaboration with neighboring countries and other institutions in the event of an emergency.
• Support to the sub-national entities from the NHA is generally high, and includes the development of activities to strengthen the decentralized units. Seventy percent of the countries perform periodic evaluations of their sub-national needs with respect to emergencies and disasters. But due to the scarce availability of resources, the deficiencies found from these evaluations are not always corrected.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization