WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and IHR, Dr Jaouad Mahjour, launched a new framework for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management in Geneva on Thursday 16 May 2019 in the working session on Health in All Disaster Risk Management Strategies at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The framework ties together work on humanitarian action, disaster management, and emergency preparedness, readiness and response for epidemics and all other health emergencies. It aims for a common and inclusive approach for health systems strengthening and achieving universal health coverage (UHC), community and country resilience, health security and links to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Global Platform, with an estimated 5,000 participants, hosted 20 health events organized by WHO and partners. In the Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Symposium, speakers stressed the importance of disaster-related, disaggregated data and evidence for informing policies, practices and innovations for health emergency and disaster risk management. It’s essential for health to be central for all local and national disaster risk management plans which include biological hazards, epidemic and pandemics and are linked to plans for implementing the International Health Regulations (2005).
The Symposium had four recommendations for countries and all health emergency and disaster risk management stakeholders:
· To implement the all-hazards Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Framework through multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships with country leadership.
· Develop strategies and implement actions for resilient health systems, including climate-sensitive programs and stronger focus on psychosocial aspects of health emergency and disaster risk management.
· Strengthen multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder, transdisciplinary and multilevel collaboration through participation in the Health EDRM Platform and Research Network. Also, to build evidence-based and risk-informed policy, practice and innovation, and linking health security and resilience with UHC.
· Advocate for Health EDRM with policy makers and other stakeholders including donors and partners at all high-level forums including the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC in New York (23 September 2019) and other platforms.
For more on the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, see: