Disaster and Disease Outbreak: Preparedness and Response

Disaster Preparedness and Response

It could be hardly doubted that any disasters, regardless of being of natural or artificial cause, pose an immense threat to public health on local, national, and international levels. Therefore, it is apparent that in such situations a guiding organizational action is essential. Accordingly, the primary scope of this assignment is the investigation of one particular organization that is concerned with the issues of disaster preparedness and response.

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It was decided to explore the International Association for Disaster Preparedness and Response (DERA) and its involvement in disaster-related decision-making. According to the DERA’s website, the organization was founded in 1962 as a nonprofit membership association “linking professionals, volunteers, and organizations active in all phases of disaster preparedness and emergency management” (“DERA”, 2017, para. 1).

It is important to notice that the organization remains to be independent of the government from its establishment to the present day. DERA views its mission as an interdependent duality of professional support and disaster service (“DERA”, 2017).

Further, it is essential to explore the role of nursing professionals in the International Association for Disaster Preparedness and Response. It is evident that the organization unites people from various professional occupations, and thus it is possible to state that the primary role of nurses in DERA reflects the main scope of the nursing profession: to provide physical and emotional care for people who have been damaged by disasters.

Medical support and caregiving guidance can be considered to be the primary responsibilities of nurses in DERA. However, it is possible to propose that a nursing professional could also volunteer to provide leadership management in disaster response situations since the participation of a healthcare professional would be highly important for responding to natural and artificial crises.

Outbreak of Disease

The second section of this discussion assignment is concerned with the exploration of the current situation with disaster preparedness and response. In order to complete this goal, the website of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Alert and Response’s (GAR) was accessed to retrieve information (“Emergencies preparedness, response,” 2018). According to the website, the WHO is “an integrated global alert and response system for epidemics and other public health emergencies” (“Emergencies preparedness, response,” 2018, para. 2).

Since the purpose of the assignment is the observation of a recent disease outbreak, the World Health Organization’s response to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was chosen as a subject (“Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo,” 2018). The response was posted on May 23, 2018.

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The outbreak of Ebola virus disease was declared on May 8, 2018 by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“Ebola virus disease,” 2018). According to the report from the website, there had been a recent outbreak of Ebola disease in May 2017, and thus the disease could be contracted from the existing or newly developed strains spreading epidemiologically (“Ebola virus disease,” 2018).

The Ministry of Health in cooperation with WHO has undertaken the following actions: ring vaccination started on May 21 among people in affected health zones, surveillance and tracing activities are performed by the WHO, cooperation with the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) continues in order to maintain air transportation of medication to affected zones (“Ebola virus disease,” 2018).

Considering recommendations for control and prevention of the disease, it is possible to mention that the WHO is collaborating with the Congo’s clinical teams in order to establish, stock, and train Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), which are formed to control and prevent the disease from spreading. Overall, the disease alert is compatible with the global standards of disaster response. The WHO’s website makes the most recent information available for healthcare professionals and the general public. The information about the outbreak is also provided on such news platforms as CNN.


Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo. (2018). Web.

Emergencies preparedness, response. (2018). Web.

The International Association for Preparedness and Response (DERA). (2017). Web.

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