Pan American Health and Education FoundationThe Pan American Health and Education Foundation

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Part of the terror of natural disasters is their unpredictability.

Disasters cause death and serious injury, destroy homes, health facilities, and infra-structure; create a shortage of medicines and health workers; and often foster conditions for disease to spread. The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) supports the recovery efforts of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to mitigate the devastating effects of these tragedies.

When disasters are no longer on the front page of the newspaper, many pressing needs remain. It is after the urgency of immediate relief efforts that the long, hard road to recovery begins. This is where PAHO/WHO is a leader, coordinating support through prompt cooperation with governments and international agencies to:

  • Track relief supplies, through its innovative SUMA software system, from the point of entry to the point of use
  • Supply emergency medical kits and dispatch emergency medical experts
  • Test water quality and provide chlorine tablets
  • Facilitate movement and pay for relief staff—nurses, doctors and health workers—from neighboring countries
  • Prevent disease outbreaks, clean-up debris, eliminate water-filled breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and ensure rubbish collection
  • Disseminate important health information for residents through television, radio and other media.

If you are interested in training materials prepared by PAHO on the subject of disaster preparedness, mitigation and response, click here.

PAHO/WHO has offices in each country and, through regional cooperative strategies, can send experts to the disasters within 24 to 48 hours. The international disaster teams remain on the ground working with local communities long after many relief agencies leave the country. The "forgotten poor" need your assistance.

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