2.1.1. Essential public health functions

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2 1 1 funciones esencialesEssential public health function No. 11 deals with reduction of the impact of emergencies and disasters on health and is thus considered a priority for regional health authorities. Read more about the functions and indicators of this key area. It calls for broad-based intersectoral participation and international cooperation to manage the risks and impacts associated with or caused by emergencies and disasters.

The following guidelines have been set forth in connection with EPHF-11:

  • Policy development, planning, and implementation of preventive action, mitigation, preparedness work, response, and early rehabilitation to reduce the public health impact of disasters.
  • An integrated approach to the hazards and etiology of each emergency or disaster that could occur given the country’s realities.
  • Participation throughout the health system, and the broadest possible intersectoral and interinstitutional collaboration to reduce emergency/disaster impact.
  • Development of intersectoral and international cooperation to address health problems created by emergencies and disasters.

The following indicators are used to assess a country’s capacity to perform EPHF-11:

  • Management of emergency and disaster impact reduction.
  • Development of standards and lines of action that help reduce the health impact of emergencies and disasters.
  • Coordination and partnership with other agencies and institutions.
  • Advisory services and technical support for subnational entities to reduce the health impact of emergencies and disasters.

Monitoring countries’ efforts to evaluate and develop the EPHF is essential to review the progress achieved thus far and to address remaining challenges. According to the last assessment of EPHF 11 in Latin America and the Caribbean, performance is good throughout the Americas, however the findings are not uniform, pointing to the importance of continuing to strengthen this area of work. The changing dynamics of the systems and processes involved in the complex area of health management make continual supervision and evaluation imperative.

Take a look at the World Bank e-learning course on strengthening the public health functions.