WHO supports global launch of one million safe schools and hospitals campaign
April 2010 -
World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Soe Nyunt-U gave the summary of commitment from the various partner agencies during the Global Launch of One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals Campaign which kicked off recently in Manila.
The campaign was launched during the opening of the ASEAN Forum on Safe Hospitals in Manila, which was attended by governments throughout the South-East Asian region, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations.
By pledging support to the campaign, WHO will continue its extensive work in advocating and supporting action (with governments, donors, health professionals, etc) for the structural and functional safety and preparedness of health facilities to ensure they can continue treating people who need healthcare following emergencies.
Pledges and commitments were given on-site via registration on its dedicated website. The pledging session of ASEAN Member States was the highlight of the event with various pledges made on-line by representatives from Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. The afternoon session was dedicated to the ASEAN Forum on Safe Hospitals. The campaign for One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals was initiated by various United Nations agencies like the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Asia Pacific in partnership with the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) and launched in partnership with partner agencies within the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DepEd).
This global action is part of the new 2010- 2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign , which is titled Building resilient cities, addressing urban risk. The main thrust of which is to build stronger health facilities, hospitals and schools that will withstand any catastrophic event and disaster.
"This campaign is unique because it offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to protect their hospitals and schools, and in turn save lives," says Dr Eric Laroche, Assistant Director-General for WHO's Health Action in Crises Cluster. "Members of the public, governments, health workers and hospital staff can all find a way to actively support this initiative to make one million hospitals and schools safe from disasters."
Dr. Soe Nyunt-U thanked all the pledges made by the DOH from advocating Safe Hospitals policies, to conducting trainings and taking a lead in capacity-building of hospitals and other health facilities.
“Hospitals should be made safe especially in catastrophic times,” says Dr. Soe, “capacity-building in times of emergency and disaster is indeed a crucial part of hospital preparedness. Health facilities and services should continue to function in times of crisis.”
WHO in turn gave its pledge to continue the work of its advocating partners by giving support to various agencies, donors and health professionals.
“Together we will strengthen our capacity to lessen the devastating impact of disaster, whether natural or man-made. Today, a promise has been made, from WHO, from various partner agencies and stakeholders. This is a promise to keep a country safe by ensuring that our health facilities will continue to be functional, resilient, and safe at all times.”
The pledging campaign is unique as individuals, corporations, associations and even a country can participate. To make a pledge, simply log on to the campaign website: www.safe-schools-hospitals.net. During the launch, the session have already garnered close to 200 pledgers to about 58,000 schools and hospitals.