Cape Coast (C/R), April 17, GNA – Mr Nicholas Studzinski, USAID Pandemic Coordinator, has called for measures to enhance the resilience of society against large-scale natural catastrophes that are certain to emerge at the “interface among humans, animals and the environment”.

He said annual global economic losses from natural disasters alone, is currently valued at about $200 billion, stressing that, as a country grow richer, the risk of natural disasters also increased creating a growing negative effect on its socio-economic and political stability.

Mr Studzinski said this at the opening of a four-day workshop on the theme: “Whole-of-Society Pandemic Preparedness Planning; Strengthening Continuity of Essential Services and Operations”.

The objectives of the workshop are to generate information input based on the current state of any sectoral plans and to provide the necessary tools and instruction for participants to initiate the development during the workshop.

He said global experience during the last two decades had demonstrated tremendous social, economic and political risks from biological and other disasters in an increasingly globalized, technologically interconnected and interdependent world.

“Diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the novel Avian Influenza virus (H5N1) have inflicted significant health and economic damage on many countries”.

He said a severe pandemic can reduce Gross Domestic Products by three to five per cent.

Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Coordinator of NADMO, called on stakeholders and all sectors of society to engage in the “Whole of Society” resilience paradigm to pandemic preparedness to reduce disasters.

The workshop is being hosted by National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) with support from PREPARE Project of International Medical Corps and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with a focus on the continuity of operations NADMO’s frame work.

 

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