Major disease outbreaks, such as Ebola in West Africa, Diphtheria in Bangladesh and Yemen, and the current Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo demonstrate the challenges faced by governments and the global humanitarian community in responding to these situations.
Outbreaks have a disastrous impacts on families, societies, systems, and economies. The effects stretch beyond the lives tragically lost – health systems are unable to cope, schooling is disrupted and every day livelihoods are put at risk – which can have a long lasting impact on the poorest communities.
UK-Med are part of the READY project group, funded for three years by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The group is led by Save the Children Federation Inc and includes partners from Save the Children UK, The Johns Hopkins University Center for Humanitarian Health, The Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, MERCY Malaysia and EcoHealth Alliance.
The group will work together to improve and strengthen coordinated responses to infectious disease outbreaks through identifying current gaps, preparedness planning and capacity and capability development with training. The aim is to stop outbreaks before they become global. Partners will also be ready to respond themselves should a disease outbreak hit. UK-Med brings the significant experience of responding to previous outbreaks to the group, and you can read about our previous deployments here.