The following advice was issued by the World Heath Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday 2 Febuary 2005. Previous WHO circulars on this topic can be found in the archive.
Four steps for the sound management of health-care waste in emergencies - These downloadable posters tackle health-care waste management in crisis situations to protect communities, health workers and patients from disease and to protect the environment. They can be downloaded in pdf format or viewed from the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia.
The Internet-based resource Sanitation Connection is being revised. The section on Emergency and Disaster Sanitation touches on issues such as the forces that are increasing people's vulnerability to natural disasters, international response and urban emergency sanitation planning in post-disaster recovery.
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation report, Health, Dignity and Development : What will it take? and its companion, the final report, abridged edition are the culmination of three years of analysis, consultation and debate among the members of the Task Force.
The Catalogue on Water, Sanitation and Health showcases all the publications available from the WHO's Water, Sanitation and Health unit. These can be ordered through WHO's online bookshop.
The global picture of the diverse links between water and health by Robert Bos of the Water, Sanitation and Health unit of WHO was published in Geoscience (January- February 2005 issue). It describes the proceedings of a Symposium on water held at the Institut de France in Paris on 15-17 September 2003.
Change will not happen overnight (by Andre Griekspoor, David Nabarro, Alessandro Loretti, and Ian Smith, all WHO staff) was published in the British Medical Journal in response to Smoke and mirrors: deficiencies in disaster funding by Peter Walker from Tufts University.
DRAFTS FOR COMMENT
The following two documents are included in the plan of work for rolling revision of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality: Formaldehyde in drinking-water and Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) in drinking-water . Both are available for comment until 10 March 2005.
REMINDER: Comments on the previously announced draft document Protecting groundwater for health: managing the quality of drinking-water sources are welcome until 20 February 2005.
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How and where can I use my plumbing skills in disaster relief?
One suggestion is to contact RedR International – see www.redr.org - which has organisations in Australia, Canada, India, UK, New Zealand and East Africa. RedR's work may be described under three main headings namely:-
- To provide sufficient competent and effective relief personnel to front-line humanitarian agencies.
- To improve the competence of relief personnel.
- To work with other agencies to improve the availability and effectiveness of relief personnel.
RedR says if you have relevant skills and are available for deployment in the near future for up to 6 months, please email your nearest RedR offices, or register on the online database . Alternatively you may wish to make a financial donation to support their work. A useful reference is Engineering in Emergencies.
This is because the most effective way of making your skills available is through our online database. Next best is to email your CV to RedR whose hard-pressed hard-pressed office staff are having trouble coping with the number of telephone enquiries being received so they don't want to encourage more telephone enquiries at this stage.
Note also that unless plumbing specialists have additional skills (particularly in management ..) and are available for 6 months, there is likely to be a very limited demand.
What else is the World Plumbing Council doing to help?
The 8th World Plumbing Conference held on September 24-27 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada will provide an ideal international gathering of the world’s plumbing professionals to debate what more the WPC can do to help the relevant international agencies in disaster relief.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for other information or links to display in this section of the WPC web-site please email