Humanitarian Health Action

Safe hospitals and health facilities

The price we pay for the failure of hospitals or health facilities due to disasters is too high. In comparison, the cost of making hospitals safe from disasters is tiny. Disaster damage to health systems is a human tragedy, results in huge economic losses, deals devastating blows to development goals, and shakes social confidence. Making hospitals and health facilities safe from disasters is an economic requirement, and also a social, moral and ethical necessity.

Special attention must be given to ensuring the physical and functional integrity of health hospitals and facilities in emergency conditions. This is about more than just protecting buildings. Health facilities are only truly safe from disasters when they are accessible and functioning, at maximum capacity, immediately after a hazard strikes.

More information on the 2008-2009 World Disaster Reduction Campaign is avalaible on the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) web site.