Emergency Response For Ebola Virus

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Question :

PUBH6006: Community Health and Disease Prevention

Instructions: Prepare a community engagement and mobilization strategy for an emergency response plan for an outbreak of the Ebola virus. Your strategy should clearly state a step-by-step approach that ensures that communities are engaged to have an active role alongside authorities and health agencies in the plan to rapidly respond to the threat of the spread of the disease. The strategy should use headings for each stage of engagement, consultation, participation, organisation, capacity building, action and possibly empowerment. Explain your decision to use either a top-down and/or bottom-up approach.

Assessment Criteria: 

 Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of different approaches to health emergency preparedness and response. (20%) 

 Demonstrates the ability to critique the advantages of using a bottom-up approach versus a top-down approach to health emergency preparedness and response. (30%) 

 Demonstrates the ability to apply knowledge of theories and models of health emergency preparedness and response to an existing community health problem. (30%) 

 General assessment criteria (20%): 

o Provides a lucid introduction 

o Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues 

o Shows ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to chosen topic 

o Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts o Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings 

o Justifies any conclusions reached with well-formed arguments and not merely assertions 

o Provides a conclusion or summary o Correctly uses academic writing, presentation and grammar: 

 Complies with academic standards of legibility, referencing and bibliographical details (including reference list) 

 Writes clearly, with accurate spelling and grammar as well as proper sentence and paragraph construction 

 Uses appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research

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Answer :

Emergency Response for Ebola virus

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is considered a fatal disease for humans. The virus can be transmitted from wild animals to human and results in human to human transmission of the disease. It has been observed that the fatal rate is 50% in this disease. In 1976, the first outbreak of the disease was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The lethality of the diseases is entirely dependent on environment and population density.  In 2014, the government of Guinea informed the World Health Organization about the rapid outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease.  Thus, the neighboring countries like Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Mali was getting affected. It was the largest Ebola outbreaks in history both in terms of affected people and geographical distributions. Therefore, a strategy or framework is essential for controlling the Ebola outbreaks. In this assignment, we will plan an effective framework which can prevent the disease outbreaks. 

Different approaches in Ebola emergency            

 Ebola is a virulent pathogen which can cause severe haemorrhagic fever and increase the rate of mortality in human. Although several approaches have been taken to diminish the effects of the viruses among them vaccination is an important fact which can block the Ebola infections. Therefore, recombinant virus-based vectors have been considered as a potential vaccine which can protect pre and post-exposure from the Ebola. In another approach identified that use of Investigational New Drugs such as anti-sense phosphorodiamidate morphino oligomers and lipid-nanoparticle can able to eliminate the severity of the disease (Choi & Croyle, 2013).

In 2014, the epidemic of the Ebola virus has drawn the attention of the international agencies and created mobile Ebola laboratories and other various initiatives to combat the situations. Therefore, the world realized the necessities of health system strengthening and regulation aspects. Additionally, emergency preparedness must be developed for supplying essential resources and services during the crisis (Tsolova, 2015). It has been observed that every strategic framework to encounter Ebola endemic requires well-coordinated approaches along with strong detection possibilities and proper care management. Therefore, every approach should speak about the reliable data system which can notify the whole situation and help in making appropriate initiatives. 

In Australia, the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and the Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN) has been developed rapidly to combat the disease and they updated the healthcare professionals regarding the risk assessment and transportation and referral services for the affected people. Therefore, the government has been selected a few hospitals to manage such patients and updated their laboratory facilities. The government has offered financial support for creating the awareness program among the community and treatment process (Gilbert, 2016)

Advantage of Bottom-Up approach

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is becoming a major humanitarian crisis in the world.  The Ebola outbreak was unrecognized for several months as it was ignored by the health officials. Therefore, rapid infections of the healthcare personnel had drawn the attention towards the Ebola.  

The author of this article noted that the low rate of mortality in some cases has been observed due to the administration of intravenous fluid. Therefore, fluid replacement therapy and correction of electrolyte imbalance can increase the chances of survival.  

According to another researcher, prevention of intravenous volume depletion along with electrolyte corrects can improve the patient's conditions. However, treating the Ebola patients with statins and ARBs can change the overall concept. The application of these agents can rectify the pathophysiological abnormalities and reduce the necessity of intravenous fluid intervention which can also maintain safety for the caregivers. It would not require any kind of training and equipment for administration. Therefore, oral administration of the agent can progress the patient’s condition (Fedson, 2015). It is an inexpensive attempt to treat the disease for the developing countries. Thus, treating the Ebola-affected patients with generic agents like statins and ARBs signify as ‘bottom up’ alternative in patient care (Fedson & Rordam, 2015). It is an effectual alternative to experimental treatment which can vary dramatically. This way of treatment can be implemented enthusiastically for all the affected individuals by the Ebola treatment units or by the family members. Therefore, these generic agents can be used prophylactically to avoid communicable diseases in health workers and unintentionally infected individuals (Fedson, 2015). Thus, it is a better option for the treatment of Ebola outbreaks as it can increase the life expectancy of the pretentious populations. Additionally, scientists are finding new endeavor in treating Ebola by targeting the host response and in future, the intimidation of Ebola endemic can be eradicated.     

The strategy for the emergency plan:

The prime aim of the framework is to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate as well as prevent the spread of the disease in neighboring countries.  The main objective of the strategy is strengthening the rapid response capacity towards the Ebola virus, promoting social mobilization and community engagement in the prevention of the outbreaks, ensuring proper clinical and psychological care of the patients and reducing the risk of transmission of the disease (IFRC, 2015)

Strategy Framework:

  • Increasing the coordination among multi-sector 

Ebola outbreak is a complex phenomenon which requires an effective coordination among the national health care services and the community healthcare facilities (Kelly et al., 2015). The government should take prompt action in monitoring the diseases condition along with appropriate intervention process. Thus, exact documentation of the outbreaks is essential for the evaluation of the situation and for allocating the dedicated staffs in this response.

  • Investigation of the cases and contact tracing   

Rapid detection and identification of the new cases can able to prevent the disease transmission. Therefore, a strong team of epidemiologist and contact tracers can competent to find the exact scenario. Thus it is essential to create a team of epidemiologist under the national health provision and monitoring the emergency situation (Vellekoop, 2018). The caregivers, hospitals of the affected countries should inform for close monitoring and documentation of the scenarios.

  • Enhancing the diagnostic capabilities

Development of the mobile lab in an emergency situation can help in early detection of the cases. Therefore, development of an effective corridor of transport the sample from the field to the laboratory can be beneficial. Additionally, training and educating the health professionals regarding the laboratory techniques can improve the condition by helping in epidemiological studies.

  • Case management 

In case of emergencies, the patients should have access to the high-quality medical support to increase their survival rate. In this context, Ebola is a communicable disease for these reasons precautions and safe handling is essential to avoid further transmission of the disease (STRATEGIC RESPONSE PLAN FOR THE EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE OUTBREAK, 2018). Therefore, in case of emergencies evaluation of the current healthcare facilities would help to modify the infrastructure and human resources which would offer optimal protection and safety.  

  • Prevention and control of infection

It is an important aspect in preventing the spread of Ebola. Therefore, prevention and control of the infection in healthcare centers is essential. In this respect, training and educating the healthcare professionals regarding the preventions and controlling techniques would be advantageous. Sufficient supply of healthcare facilities and equipment in the affected region would delay the chances of transmission. Therefore, creating awareness programme among the communities regarding the safe handling of the Ebola patients, maintaining of personal hygiene, safe and dignified burials process of EVD patients and appropriate waste management procedures would reduce the risk of virus transmission.

  • Social mobilization and community engagement

The affected communities play an important role in the prevention and transmission of Ebola. Therefore, educating the community by using different media and tools can be an effective approach. Thus, the community would play an active participation in the elimination of the disease.

  • Psychosocial care

The EVD survivors are often stigmatized and humiliated in the society. Thus, educating the community and healthcare professionals can support the psychological condition of the patients and accelerate the recovery rate.

  • Rapid response to the disease       

Rapid diagnosis of disease followed by the vaccination program would avoid the emergency situations. Increasing the capacity of health professionals in response to EVD (Vellekoop, 2018). The healthcare professionals should be well educated in epidemiological surveillance and infection prevention and control. A proper training of the healthcare professionals will rectify the ignorance in patients care. Therefore, training in integrated disease surveillance and response can be advantageous.  

  • Safety measures in neighboring countries

Ebola can easily transmit from country to country. Therefore, in case of emergency outbreaks should inform the neighboring countries (Vellekoop, 2018). The neighboring countries could enhance their surveillance and take prompt action on early detection of imported EVD. Thus, it can provide technical and operational support to the affected country. 

  • Monitoring and evaluation 

It is an important part of the framework. In this section, proper reporting and documentation have been achieved which can be analyzed in the future to prevent further outbreaks of the disease and implementing the correct intervention process (Vellekoop, 2018). A close monitoring system with proper documentation is capable to eradicate the outbreaks of communicable disease like Ebola. 

In 2014, the Ebola epidemic killed thousands of people in West Africa. After the devastation, the healthcare organizations of the world realize the importance and effectiveness of theory-based frameworks. Thus, the severity of the epidemic can be decreased by developing appropriate prevention measures and involving the community in the whole prevention process. At last, it can be concluded that the above-stated prevention strategy would able to evade the disease outbreaks.