Emergency risk management for health
WHO supports countries in building national capacity in risk reduction and emergency preparedness, and to assist the health sector in Member States in reducing the adverse public health consequences for communities in terms of mortality, morbidity, disability and damage to health care delivery services resulting from emergencies, disasters and other crises.
- Assessing and monitoring baseline information on the status of risk reduction and emergency preparedness in the health sector at regional and country levels.
- Institutionalizing risk reduction and emergency preparedness programmes in ministries of health and establishing an effective all-hazard/whole-health programme for this purpose
- Encouraging and supporting community-based risk reduction and emergency preparedness programmes
- Improving knowledge and skills in risk reduction and emergency preparedness and response in the health sector.
WHO strategy in risk reduction and emergency preparedness is based on an “All-Hazard / Whole-Health” approach.
- Multi-agency: facilitate partnerships among agencies, institutions and individuals which contribute to health risk reduction.
- Multi-sectoral: reflect that health and other sectors work together to manage the health emergency risks caused by the interaction of the vulnerability and resilience of people, hazards or agents, and their social, cultural, natural and built environments.
- Multi-disciplinary: take account of the contributions of many disciplines in health and other fields required to manage the risks to health.
- All-hazard: address risks of emergencies from all sources, including natural, technological, biological and societal hazards.
- Risk management: adopt a risk management approach, with a focus on proactive measure to manage risk, including risk assessment, prevention, and preparedness and associated functions such as policy development, communication, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development. Risk reduction should also be integrated into disaster response, recovery and rehabilitation by strengthening communities, institutions and systems to reduce future risks.
- Disaster Risk Reduction: The conceptual framework of elements considered with the possibilities to minimize vulnerabilities and disaster risks throughout a society, to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) the adverse impacts of hazards, within the broad context of sustainable development (source ISDR).
- Emergency preparedness: Activities and measures taken in advance to ensure effective response to the impact of hazards, including the issuance of timely and effective early warnings and the temporary evacuation of people and property from threatened locations (source ISDR).