IDPP Supports Launch of New Pan American Health Organization Initiative

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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO), has recently developed an exciting methodology designed to improve the level of inclusion of persons with disabilities in health disaster risk management.  

“Disability Inclusion in Hospital Disaster Risk Management” (INGRID-H, by its Spanish acronym) seeks to support the preparedness of medical professionals to respond to emergency and disaster situations, with emphasis on persons with disabilities.

The Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) collaborated with PAHO at their INGRID-H launch event on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at the PAHO headquarters in Washington, D.C.  

Many IDPP representatives were in attendance, including IDPP Executive Director Dr. Derrick Cogburn, Deputy Director Dr. Filippo Trevisan, and Research Associates Harshala Chandraiah and Madeline Reis.

Dr. Cogburn gave a presentation – Beyond Being There; for “All of Us” – that presented findings in IDPP’s study with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) at the Global Platform 2017 (GP2017) in Cancun, Mexico. Dr. Cogburn also discussed the importance of web conferencing and mobile remote presence devices in health emergency and disaster risk management.

IDPP exemplified the importance of these tools by assisting PAHO with remote participation at the launch. IDPP provided technical support with web conferences in English and Spanish, as well as through the use of “Ally” – IDPP’s telepresence robot. Thanks to IDPP’s efforts, the launch had over 265 virtual participants from four countries. Nearly 300 people in total participated.

IDPP’s recently-published Accessible Global Governance report was cited as inspiration for PAHO’s decision to have remote participation at the launch. PAHO also expressed that they are eager to explore additional possibilities of accessible remote participation.

Pictured (above): Nearly 300 participants attended the INGRID-H launch event virtually or in-person thanks in part to IDPP’s efforts.

Pictured (above): Nearly 300 participants attended the INGRID-H launch event virtually or in-person thanks in part to IDPP’s efforts.

INGRID-H seeks to improve the level of inclusion of persons with disabilities in health disaster risk management, particularly in hospital preparedness and response to emergencies and disasters. Through INGRID-H, PAHO also seeks to reduce risks that disproportionately impact persons with disabilities and ensure that health facilities in the Americas remain accessible during emergencies.

The development of INGRID-H was led by Dr. Alex Comacho, Regional Advisor on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction for PAHO. Dr. Comacho previously served as advisor to Lenín Moreno (former Vice President of Ecuador), and Secretary of the Technical Disability Secretary of Ecuador. Dr. Comacho and Dr. Cogburn were introduced by IDPP Joint Advisory Board Chair, Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN.

The implementation of INGRID-H will not only contribute to the fulfillment of the rights of people with disabilities but will also contribute to the efforts of countries in the Americas to have a safer, more inclusive and resilient healthcare sector.

Click here to listen to event presentations in English (Dr. Cogburn’s talk begins at 38:35). Read the full English version of the INGRID-H report here.

Click here to listen to event presentation in Spanish (Dr. Cogburn’s talk begins at 3:20:18). Read the full Spanish version of the INGRID-H report here.

Pictured (above): IDPP Program Associate Della Leonor using “Ally,” IDPP’s telepresence robot, to participate remotely at the INGRID-H launch.

Pictured (above): IDPP Program Associate Della Leonor using “Ally,” IDPP’s telepresence robot, to participate remotely at the INGRID-H launch.

Pictured (above): IDPP Research Associates, Harshala Chandriah and Madelaine Reis, were two of the many IDPP representatives who participated in the INGRID-H launch event.

Pictured (above): IDPP Research Associates, Harshala Chandriah and Madelaine Reis, were two of the many IDPP representatives who participated in the INGRID-H launch event.