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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-60

Steps towards sustainable and resilient disaster management in Japan: Lessons from Cuba

1 Department of Medical Science and Technology Course of Emergency Medical Technology, Hiroshima lnternational University, Higashi Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan
2 Center for Lifenhance in 22nd Century, Institute for Future Engineering, Tomiokabashi, Fukagawa, Koto-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Kenji Isayama
Department of Medical Science and Technology Course of Emergency Medical Technology, Hiroshima lnternational University, 555 36, Kurose Gakuendai, Higashi Hiroshima-739 2695, Hiroshima
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.151300

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Cuba is a hurricane-prone island in the Caribbean. Hurricanes are endemic to Cuban history. A major hurricane occurs in the country every few years, causing the destruction of homes but very few deaths. Though Cuba has limited economic resources, its healthcare system has managed to solve some problems that the Cuban population itself was unaware of. Furthermore, Cuba has an excellent record with respect to disaster preparedness and response, involving warnings and evacuations, in which governmental control of the population and the efficient organization of society by the state are effectively used to minimize the potential morbidity and mortality from hurricanes. Their unusual healthcare and disaster resilience strategy addresses these problems in ways developed based on Cuba's peculiar political and economic history. However, these systems created in terms of healthcare teams for all, an early focus on prevention and clear attention to community resilience may also inform progress in Japan. This review was conducted using resources from libraries and search engines using specific keyword combinations. The 50 most relevant publications from 2002 to 2014 are reviewed in detail. Though Cuba certainly faces many challenges such as an unsustainable conventional healthcare system, an aging society and economic vulnerability, Cuban disaster risk management incorporates preventive principles, education and community resilience. Similarly, Japanese disaster management should shift focus from emergency response to preventive strategies such as those in the Cuban disaster management plan and Hyogo Framework for Action. Moving towards more sustainable and resilient disaster management in Japan is essential.

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