Essential Medicines List for Emergencies and Disasters in the Caribbean
(2012; 70 pages)


Aiming to respond to an increasing number of large scale disasters and emergencies, the prevention and management of serious threats to the survival and health of the affected populations, requires from the countries to be prepared with a timely and appropriate emergency and disaster management plan. Soon after an emergency, it is important to focus in providing continuous health services in health facilities, disease surveillance, and providing the needed essential medicines. A standard medicines list in emergencies and disasters permits an effective response with medicines and medical devices using standard, pre-packed kits that could be kept in readiness to meet priority health needs in emergencies.

The provision of the medicines from the EDEML will help in reducing any excess in morbidity and mortality due to communicable and non communicable diseases in populations affected by disasters and emergencies.

Chronic conditions were recognized as an important health concern in emergencies and disasters: cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and heart failure), cancer, diabetes, acute and chronic respiratory disease (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and mental health problems (psychiatric disorders and symptoms derived from severe distress). The priorities during the acute phase of the emergencies are to treat exacerbations and minimize treatment interruptions.

Much of the affected population is likely to suffer a wide range of symptoms of anxiety and other psychological problems caused by severe distress and constrained living conditions. It is necessary to differentiate normal reactions to the disaster, which can be handled through psychosocial interventions, such as psychological first aid, from those that require a specialize treatment and represent an increase in prevalence of mental disorders. Furthermore, it is also necessary to be prepared with adequate and continued care to treat people with severe mental disorders which should not interrupt their treatments. An Essential Medicines List is prepared to address the medicines needs of the affected population post emergencies and disaster.

El Portal de Información - Medicamentos Esenciales y Productos de Salud de la OMS fue diseñado y es mantenido por la ONG Human Info. Última actualización: le 1 diciembre 2019