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Socio-environmental risk management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Central America: unity became strength even in times of uncertainty
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1  School of Medicine, Doctoral Program of Biomedical Gerontology, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Academic Editor: Trond Flaegstad


This brief note discusses the articulation of Central American countries in the fight against the pandemic from a socio-environmental perspective. Central America is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world; hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, floods, and volcanic eruptions are the main threats to the nations. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 exacerbated the socio-environmental risks, demanding the emergency action of joint management within the framework of the Central American Integration Scheme (CAIS). Thus, technical meetings of the Coordination Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America sought to maintain a synergy to reduce social vulnerability and the environmental impacts of the pandemic. The region adopted intersectorality as a mechanism of articulation among all CAIS-derived bodies, allowing for more comprehensive humanitarian assistance to groups at higher risk (involving all human life cycles). The joint negotiation between the countries sought to provide technical support for estimates and projections for the calculation of needs, as well as to adjust health measures in each country according to the following scenarios recommended by WHO: i) no cases, ii) sporadic cases, iii) clusters of cases, and iv) sustained transmission. Therefore, the countries promoted the participation of the population in the prevention and mitigation phases, which helped to mitigate the pent-up demand in the health sector and strengthened community-based interventions. Thus, the region managed to keep the case fatality rate below 5% and reinforce compliance with local sanitary measures in the first two pandemic years due to the multi-systemic approach to risk management. The protagonism of the community led to the development of social groups more aware of socio-environmental and public health responsibilities, besides the benefits of working as a collective.

Keywords: Central American Integration Scheme; Public Health; Community-based medicine; Pandemics
Comments on this paper
Fred Smith
Thanks for good essay!