Emergency Response Plan
According to Word Health Organization, Ebola virus disease or EVD that was previously known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, although is a very rare but it results in fatal illness among individuals. The fatality rate of cases related to this particular illness is about 50%. However rate of case fatality ranges between 25% and 90% in the outbreaks that previously has occurred (World Health Organization, 2019).
Ebola virus affected human beings through close contacts with infected animals such as gorillas, monkeys, chimpanzees, fruit bats or porcupine who were dead or ill or there in the rainforest. Ebola virus transmits infection through secretions, blood, bodily fluids or other organs of the infected animals. Human to human transmission of Ebola virus occurs through direct contact (Coltart, Lindsey, Ghinai, Johnson, & Heymann, 2017).
The time period from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is known as incubation period. Incubation of this particular infection takes about 2 to 21 days (World Health Organization, 2019). However one will not spread the Ebola virus until symptoms are developed in an individual. Symptoms of Ebola virus infection includes fatigue, muscle pain, fever, sore throat, headache, rash, vomiting, and multiple organ failure (Hoenen, et al., 2016).
Australia is less exposed to Ebola infection apart from direct contact with infected animal or individual.
Top down approach is a type of programme where problem identification is placed in the top of the structure that comes ‘down’ to the community. Top down approach is effective in communicating the higher class of people in a society because it targets to reach self-motivated and educated mass. However this approach is not appropriate for marginalised or lower strata of the society (Hoenen, et al., 2016).
Australian government has been encouraging top down approach in preventing and eliminating Ebola virus caused infection and thus enables all the citizens with immediate accessibility of primary health care support and personal health care physician who helps people by diagnosing its symptoms in the initial stage of the infection (Moodie, Tolhurst, & Martin, 2016).
All the professionals are well aware of the causes and outcomes of the Ebola outbreak that has happened in 2014-2015 with the help of top down approach (Prescott, et al., 2017). This approach further has supported people in gaining awareness about Ebola virus disease. Top down approach facilitates in developing projects that are required to be designed in eliminating the particular disease by helping and supporting the community people fight with the issues.
Emergency response plan:
- Stop transmission of EVD in Australia through adoption of evidence based controlling measures.
- Resist the spread of Ebola virus infection if outbreak occurs
Both to eliminate as well as prevent the infection caused by Ebola virus, community holds very significant role. Community engagement enables in encouraging preventative measures and educate the participants about bringing to an end with all human being and animals or body fluids that may initiate Ebola infection outbreaks.
Three major activities and strategies to deal with EVD outbreak:
- Immediate response intervention that encompasses diminishing the spread, assessment, and effective measures to stop transmission
- In materialising plans for eradicating Ebola virus disease, communication has indispensable role among organizations, community members as well as Government, hence partnership working is the key to success.
- For engaging the community people in any programme, especially when it is about improving health conditions of people or managing health risks, participation and cooperation are critical. Different suburbs of Australian states are managed by Neighbourhood Awareness which is an organization. The particular organization is responsible and accountable to handle different issues in a specific areas as well as report to local council when further assistance is needed for managing risk in the community (Girard, David, Piatyszek, & Flaus, 2016).
- Communicating with the community people helps them in identifying initial symptoms and reporting to physicians if they have any feeling that they might be infected by Ebola virus. Through effective communication, community members are facilitated to transform their actions that may lead to Ebola outbreak (Pedi, et al., 2017).
- Community capacity building is critical in emergence response plan to prevent the initiation of Ebola infection. Capacity building facilitates organizing and mobilize community resources to work in in better manner in the way to bring about changes.
Strategic action plan:
- Role of social media especially in Australia is crucial in creating awareness among people about the disease, causes and preventative measures. Prevention and promotional campaigns are very important especially in public health settings that can be improved through training and educational campaigns within different communities (Boyce & Katz, 2019). Through such promotional or educational programmes, community members are educated with different health problems and causes for example importance of hand wash in preventing and control the spread of diseases. People are made aware and shared information about different health related issues and their causes.
- Community members also are acknowledged about preventative measures and ways to identifying those issues through different social media programmes such as websites, social media platforms, apps, and official governmental websites of Australia.
- Group work, activities, campaigns and training are required to make people aware of various ways of prevention and seek their contribution for ceasing spread of Ebola infection. Behavioural change among the community members is necessary with the application of Health Belief Model (Niederberger, Ferron, & O'Reilly, 2016).
Immediate action to support the affected areas of Australia:
- Strengthen field response immediately
- Local volunteers and care professionals
- Field logistics materials
- Provision of care to infected person and control in health care sector
- Case investigation, active vigilance, survey and follow up
- Risk communication, social mobilizations, and public relations
- Coordinate the outbreak response
- Consultation is sharing of information among stakeholders with an aim to prevent as well as treat Ebola infection, if it outbreaks. Effective strategies must be developed that have potential to address the risk associated with Ebola infection within the community (Walldorf, Date, Sreenivasan, Harris, & Hyde, 2017).
- Collection and sharing of information regarding the risk factors and preventative measures support people as well as empower the focus groups in conducting analysis of including social media in this strategy so that recommendations are well established and justified (World Health Organization, 2016).
- Consultation can be carried out by different methods such as sharing information of concern with stakeholders in order to develop a focus group for managing emergence conditions.
- To acknowledge people and seek assistance from them and be a part of the programme through regional and local magazines and newspapers (Laverack & Manoncourt, 2016).
- Distributing pamphlets about the risk factors and preventative measures in different parts of the country.
Community engagement strategy for effective implementation of plan
Community engagement is key to any public health intervention as well as critical in public health emergencies. It is significant to make the Australian people aware of the disease and the outcomes and problems related with Ebola virus disease that they are likely to experience (Pedi, et al., 2017). They also are made aware about the importance of vaccination so that they can keep away from the infection through community participation. Following steps will be followed to implement the action plan:
- Different approaches and tactics should be adopted for community engagement are crisis communication, behaviour change communication, health promotion and health education (Laverack & Manoncourt, 2016).Approaches of decision making and problem solving will be supported by the structure of the community.
- Partnership working and cooperation are followed between medical professionals, local Neighbourhood Awareness and Council so that receiving adequate support and attention by every residents is ensured. Community must be included in every preventative, promotional and health development programmes so that the level of Ebola outbreak can be prevented and if occur be eradicated, efficiently (Coltart, Lindsey, Ghinai, Johnson, & Heymann, 2017).
- Capacity building is the practice to address issues, carry out duties and achieve objectives at various levels such as individual, organizational and community. In capacity building it is ensured that community receive adequate support and observations to achieve the goal of addressing the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (McVernon, Sorrell, Firman, Murphy, & Lewin, 2017). Through capacity building approach, the community is guided in using services and provided them with support for enhancing technical knowledge to health care providers as well as in building coordination and relationship between care users and care providing professionals.
- Education of the community members is critical to empower them and realise the significance of health issues and how well they can manage those with their knowledge that is provided to community members through awareness programmes. In order to have effective prevention programme, local Neighbourhood Awareness can be developed with the inclusion of volunteers who have basic knowledge about the Ebola disease and the underlying causes of its outbreak (Frieden & Damon, 2015).
- People who have identified the onset of Ebola and require clinical support should be moved to hospital for immediate treatment in special ambulances. Immediate actions is likely to prevent the progression and transmission of the illness (Frieden & Damon, 2015).
- Community empowerment approach is effective in strengthening the community resources and support them in educating, preventing and addressing the issues that occur due to Ebola virus infection. Community empowerment has vital role to play in Ebola and other health care issues prevention and treatment, social development and welfare and education. Through community participation, members can be empowered and facilitate community to restore (Laverack & Manoncourt, 2016).
It can be concluded from the particular report that Ebola is an infection that has been affecting millions of people every year, irrespective of any specific country or community. In order to prevent the disease all the stakeholders should be engaged in the plan, particularly the community as the health issue can only be addressed when community members are actively participating in education, implementing the strategies in preventing, identifying symptoms and seek medical assistance for treatment when Ebola virus disease outbreaks.
Top down approach needs to be implemented in Australia so that behaviour of people can be modified as their behaviours and activities have likeliness to cause Ebola outbreaks. For transforming behaviour of the community members’, communication and coordination should be established between health care providers, Government, organizations and communities and thus design an effective intervention plan and arrange promotional campaigns to educate people about the illness.