Minimizing health impact of emergencies and disasters
The Western Pacific Region is prone to earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, floods, landslides and droughts. Examples include the China Wenchuan Earthquake in May 2008, the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and typhoons and flooding disasters in the Philippines in 2009 and 2011. All resulted in enormous loss of life and serious damage and destruction to health infrastructure and health systems.
The Emergency and Humanitarian Action (EHA) programme in the Division of Health Security and Emergencies (DSE) in WHO's Western Pacific Regional Office works with Member States and partners to minimize the health impact of emergencies and disasters.
WHO in the Western Pacific Region aims to support countries in reducing the immediate and long-term avoidable mortality, morbidity, disability and other heath consequences related to emergencies and disasters through (1) health sector preparedness (including post-disaster health service preparedness); (2) provision of an appropriate health response to and recovery from acute emergencies; and (3) a long-term effort towards promoting hospital safety.
As the health cluster lead agency for humanitarian emergencies, WHO works with countries and partner agencies to facilitate a coordinated health response to emergencies and disasters in the Western Pacific Region.