Emergencies and disasters

The situation

  • China is one of the world's 10 most vulnerable countries to natural disasters. This is due to climate change, geographical location and environmental factors.
  • Each year brings earthquakes, floods, typhoons, heavy storms and landslides. These natural disasters cause huge loss of property and lives. In the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, for example; the official figure of fatalities was 69,197 and 374,176 injured, with 18,222 listed as missing and approximately 4.8 million people made homeless.
  • China's Ministry of Health attaches great importance to developing health emergency systems, management and capacity building.
  • China has established a General National Emergency Contingency Plan and 25 Specific Emergency Plans and around 80 Sectors Emergency Plans. in line with related regulations
  • China focuses on strengthening health emergency information and surveillance and early-warning systems, coordination and collaboration, institutional capacity on emergency preparedness and response; emergency supplies and stockpile support, risk communication and health education.

WHO's response

  • WHO has provided technical support to its counterparts in developing technical toolkits and methodology on disaster risk assessment, and medical and public health management.
  • A Pre-Event City Profile and Health Emergency Preparedness Plan, supported by WHO, in provincial and city levels, provides evidence-based documentation to improve local capacity in risk reduction and better preparedness and response in emergencies.
  • WHO continues to advocate its campaign Make Hospitals Safe in Emergencies in line with the Hospital Emergency Plan development for good practice at local level.
  • WHO-supported national training workshops on Public Health Emergency Management can serve as a good model initially to be carried out in the Western Area Health Initiative (WAHI). with a future goal of scaling up the programme nationally.
  • WHO regular budget projects for 2012-13:
    • Training and capacity building on disasters and emergencies preparedness and response for central and western provinces in China
    • Strengthening national health emergency technical guidance and support on post-disaster management