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International Day For Disaster Reduction (IDDR) To Be Observed World Wide, October 10, 2008

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The world over, via the United Nations Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), will observe Wednesday, October 8, 2008 as International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). This Day is observed annually to raise general awareness of disaster risk reduction.

This year’s theme, which was instituted as part of the UNISDR’s 2008-2009 World Disaster Reduction Campaign to make hospitals and health facilities safe from disaster, is Hospitals Safe From Disasters. As part of this campaign, the UNISDR Secretariat is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the World Bank, to reduce risk, protect health facilities, and save lives.

According to Salvano Briceño, Director of the UNISDR Secretariat: “From a human perspective all disasters are a health issue, and damage to health systems affects nations as a whole and every part of society. A disaster-safe hospital is part of a disaster-safe community. Everyone needs to be aware of the crucial role health facilities and health systems play and must be committed to their safety.”

The Campaign’s objectives are to effect change that helps to:

  1. Protect the lives of patients and health workers by ensuring the structural resilience of health facilities.
  2. Make sure health facilities and health services are able to function in the aftermath of emergencies and disasters – when they are most needed.
  3. Improve the risk reduction capacity of health workers and institutions, including emergency management.

In observation of this year’s theme, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be mounting a display and presentation at the St. Andrew Parish Library on Tom Redcam Avenue and a presentation at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital.

Contact: Kerry-Ann Morris, Information Officer, [email protected]

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Written by Staff Writer