International Medical Corps recently completed implementation of a multi-year (40 month) project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) called the PREPARE Project. PREPARE aimed to promote the integration of pandemic preparedness into wider disaster management and preparedness initiatives. Through PREPARE, International Medical Corps worked to strengthen the capacity of low-resourced countries in Africa and Asia for multisector disaster management and pandemic preparedness planning.
International Medical Corps strengthened the capacities of host countries through PREPARE’s “whole- of-society” approach, with involvement from all sectors of society. PREPARE built on previously funded USAID programs to improve broader pandemic and disaster preparedness through simulation and training exercises to develop collaboration throughout the civil sector, private sector and the government.
Using our nearly 30 years of experience of building relationships with groups and individuals at all levels of government and society, International Medical Corps led PREPARE in using the “whole-of-society” pandemic preparedness approach with significant roles played by all sectors of society:
- As the national civilian government is the natural leader for communication and overall coordination efforts, this entity should work to institute the necessary legislation, policies and resources for pandemic preparedness, capacity development and anticipated response efforts across all sectors.
- The health sector (including public health and health care services) should provide critical epidemiological and clinical information which, in turn, informs measures to reduce the spread of pandemics and its attendant morbidity and mortality.
- The diverse array of non-health sectors should provide essential continuity of operations and services during a pandemic to mitigate health, economic and social impacts.
- Civil society organizations should use their reach to raise awareness, communicate accurate information, counter rumors, provide needed services to communities, and liaise with the government during an emergency.
- Families and individuals should help improve family and community resilience by providing appropriate self-help preparatory measures and health-seeking and preventive behavior to reduce the spread of pandemics through the adoption of good hygiene measures.
Watch Jacob Schafer's presentation of International Medical Corps’ PREPARE Project.