Ebola Response: Learning from Avian Influenza
Halosil Blog

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HospitalsNovember 7, 2014

Ebola Response: Learning from Avian Influenza

It wasn’t too many years ago that the world was responding to the Avian flu outbreak. And with the current crisis around the deadly Ebola virus, what can we learn that will prepare us for the next inevitable outbreak or natural disaster?

Learning from the crisis we’re facing now and taking the necessary steps to minimize the loss of life in the future will save many lives. Unfortunately, our collective attention begins to move onto other issues after the media coverage declines.

What has been learned?

Preparedness requires a holistic view at infrastructure and resources that is multi-dimensional. Short-term responses do not address systemic deficiencies. There are complex problems that will require expertise from various backgrounds and disciplines to solve them. Some of them are:

  • Food sourcing and safety particularly around diseases known to be transmitted by hunted animals used for food
  • Supply chain for donated supplies along with the systems and training to deploy them
  • Collaboration between NGOs, government, military and industry
  • Regional systems that cross country borders
  • Identification of testing laboratories with the processes and procedures to handle and test for deadly pathogens
  • Impact of modes of transportation including airplanes, ambulances and mass transit on the spread of disease
  • Review and establishment of disinfection practices, procedures and training for healthcare environments, transportation and public meeting places
  • Communication processes and planning
  • Care, feeding and housing for communities hardest hit by disaster
  • Systems for quarantine

Carla Stone’s full article on disaster response and preparedness is found on her LinkedIn page.

Carla is currently working on Ebola response and has deep experience facilitating the development of systems and collaborations between governments, industry and NGOs on critical areas including health, water, natural resources and human capacity development.