International Medical Corps works to help vulnerable communities worldwide prevent and respond to communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and mental disorders.
Over 1 billion people each year are affected by infectious diseases—including neglected tropical illnesses which thrive in impoverished and marginalized communities, in conflict zones and the overcrowded conditions that so often prevail in settlements for refugees and the internally displaced. In such places, poor sanitation, limited access to safe drinking water and often-inadequate health services combine to make conditions ideal for disease outbreaks.
In Africa, infectious diseases remain a leading cause of illness and death but elsewhere, it is non-communicable disease that has become the main causes of illness and death, quietly thriving with none of the drama of attention-getting epidemics and emergency vaccination campaigns.
A significant number of International Medical Corps’ responses have included technical assistance for the treatment and control of epidemic diseases. Our staff of around 7,000 worldwide includes physicians and public health specialists who coordinate health responses worldwide and engage in pandemic preparedness activities.
Our goals at International Medical Corps include:
- Improve epidemiological surveillance, prevention and response to epidemic-prone diseases
- Contribute to health security and protection of public health.
- Contribute to the global goal of zero new HIV infection in newborns.
- Education and inform populations on disease control measures.
- Working with community partners to end practices that contribute to the spread of disease.
At International Medical Corps, disease control is at the forefront of our work. Whether we were responding to the refugee crisis in Jordan, or the earthquake in Haiti, it is always a priority. With the recent West African Ebola outbreaks, for example, our disease control strategies were put to the test. Being one of the few NGOs to treat patients who contracted the Ebola virus, we employed a staff of 1,500 in five separate treatment units who cared for more than 460 Ebola positive patients. In addition, we screened nearly 400,000 people for Ebola at some 30 screening and referral centres. During the outbreak, we also trained local organizations and community members how to combat Ebola, and detect future outbreaks. Post-epidemic, International Medical Corps remained on the ground to provide further health and psychosocial support, as well as helping strengthen health systems to prevent further epidemics – working towards our goals of achieving a ‘durable zero.’
More than half of adult refugees have a chronic non-communicable disease.
International Medical Corps has vaccinated children from 10,000 families in refugee settlements along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We maintain a strong program on neglected tropical diseases, such as African Sleeping Sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis), River Blindness (Onchocercialsis), and Guinea Worm (Dracunculiasis).