Global children’s development agency Plan International and International Medical Corps, a leader in global health and emergency response, have joined forces to respond to Ebola, the deadly virus spreading rapidly across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and moving into other parts of West Africa.
This new partnership is a unique initiative in the fight against Ebola with the two humanitarian organisations coming together to provide a comprehensive package of services. Their combined efforts are aimed at preventing the spread of Ebola and reducing the number of deaths.
Each organisation brings complementary strengths and skills to the partnership. International Medical Corps’ mission is to improve quality of life through health interventions that strengthen local capacity in underserved communities worldwide, whilst Plan has been working with children for over 77 years bringing expertise in child protection, water, hygiene and sanitation and community involvement.
Working together for better impact Working jointly, Plan and International Medical Corps have developed a nine-point response plan to address immediate short-term needs and long-term requirements. The response plan covers prevention, case management, psychological first aid, child protection and other lifesaving measures. The nine areas have been identified based on the needs and priorities that have emerged in the current outbreak.
To support the global efforts around strengthening health workforce capacity and preparedness, the two organisations are also in discussions to provide training for regional health professionals and first responders in preparedness, response and infection control at training centres in West Africa.
This response plan is being implemented in a phased approach, with International Medical Corps initially focusing on case management and treatment of Ebola cases while Plan focuses on community mobilisation and public health awareness. As these programmes are established, joint activities will be tailored to address the emerging needs.
International Medical Corps and Plan will work very closely with local Ministries of Health, community organisations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and other relevant humanitarian and health agencies. Much needed support, in the form of technical specialists and human resources, is also expected to be mobilised through this unique collaboration.
Speaking about the new partnership, Tessie San Martin, CEO of Plan International USA said, “Responding effectively to the Ebola crisis requires immediate and cooperative action. Collaboration between Plan and International Medical Corps is a key step forward in combating this devastating disease. Our individual strengths and capacities make for a natural and sustainable partnership.”
“We are pleased to be combining our expertise and resources with Plan International to tackle this unprecedented emergency,” said Nancy A. Aossey, President & CEO of International Medical Corps. “We must work together to contain and combat this deadly disease, and this strategic and timely partnership is critically important.”
Notes to editors
The nine key areas where Plan International and International Medical Corps will be working together are:
• Public health awareness messages on preventing the spread of Ebola and reducing the risk of infection. These messages will be on the radio, TV, via mobile phone text messaging and posters in offices, schools and public areas. Clean delivery kits for pregnant women will also be delivered for those women who are unable to give birth in a safe, hygienic facility.
• Case management, care and treatment for infected and vulnerable children and adults by providing Ebola case management services and establishing linkages with Ebola testing and referral systems for primary health care services.
• Training in infection control and community outreach for all workers involved in working with infected or potentially infected people.
• Psychosocial and mental health support for children and adults who have been infected, their families, affected communities and health workers
• Care for those providing care, including family care givers and health workers.
• Advanced training and preparedness for those who are to be deployed from the government, humanitarian and health agencies.
• Additional training and awareness raising on child protection in emergencies for those in government ministries, the armed forces and health workers amongst others.
• Procurement and distribution of food, food vouchers and non-food items such as hygiene kits; emergency food distribution; and supplementary feeding for babies and young children at risk from malnutrition.
• Response to children who have been separated from their families and those at risk of separation. Initiatives will include training government and health workers in how to identify children who have been separated from their families or orphaned or are in need of special protection.
1. Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness and one of the world’s most virulent diseases. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.
2. According to WHO Ebola update of September 4, as of 31 August 2014, 3685 (probable, confirmed and suspected) cases and 1841 deaths have been reported in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease by the Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Nigeria, there have been 21 cases and 7 deaths. In Senegal, one case has been confirmed.
Plan International: Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest children’s development organisations. Plan works in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. Plan has been working in Guinea since 1989, in Sierra Leone since 1976, and in Liberia since 1982.