Outbreak Response

Army trainers teach NHS medics how to put on Ebola safety suits 2016

An outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place.

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.

A safe exit from the Ebola red zone in Sierra Leone - Jessica Seldon, DFID

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.

Cath Nixon who deployed during the Ebola outbreak

UK-Med are part of the READY project group.

READY has been 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.

UK-Med volunteers being trained during Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Photo Credit: David Adams

The aim is to stop outbreaks before they become global.

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.

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.