Epidemic response

Epidemics threaten the health of entire populations and contribute to high rates of mortality across the world.

Epidemic response

Epidemics threaten the health of entire populations and contribute to high rates of mortality across the world.

Communicable diseases have long since plagued the world from the earliest influenza pandemics to the most recent Zika surge. In the case of Ebola, women tend to be disproportionately affected. Women are often the primary caregivers, particularly when health care services are inaccessible, and therefore they are in close contact with patients who carry the disease. These communicable diseases cause exponentially high rates of mortality and morbidity, generally in countries that lack resources and have inadequate infrastructure to manage outbreaks.

WAHA’s Action

WAHA International is active in the response to infectious disease outbreaks and emergencies. We act swiftly and effectively to address public health priorities in order to save lives and reduce the overall burden, especially for women and children. WAHA’s efforts do not stop following a crisis, but continue to support the strengthening and rebuilding of health systems.

Although we do not respond to every disease outbreak, WAHA’s presence on the ground and acceptance by local populations means that we are able to provide assistance when epidemics do occur. With all epidemics, we deliver highest quality care to our patients and improve care protocol to reduce the spread of disease.

Response to acute epidemics including Ebola and ZIKA

WAHA International aims to improve the identification and management of cases, and to strengthen health infrastructure with the goal of reducing the number of cases. WAHA implements control activities targeting hygiene practices and improved triage systems in cases such as the Ebola virus.
As part of our Ebola programming for example, WAHA International developed a rapid response strategy using innovative equipment and approaches. These include using individual isolation tents and custom-made motorcycle ambulances while aiming to reinforce local initiatives and community awareness on Ebola in Liberia and Guinea.
WAHA International places a special emphasis on the importance of transfer of skills so that communities are able to respond to and contain epidemics themselves. We incorporate community mobilization activities into our projects to help empower communities to identify their needs and to implement culturally-appropriate responses.

Prevention

WAHA also carries out regular prevention activities including distribution of bed nets to mitigate the spread of vector born disease such as malaria. In response to the Ebola and Zika virus, we support partnerships with ministries of health to set up adequate prevention and response mechanisms. WAHA is dedicated to improving hospital hygiene practices by working closely with health facilities Hygiene and Safety Committees to develop hygiene plans and management of medical and non-medical waste.

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