Learning from Zika: Lessons for future public health emergencies
USAID and the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project held a discussion: “Learning from Zika: Lessons for future public health emergencies” in Washington DC on June 11, 2019.
The Zika outbreak in Latin America and the Caribbean was sudden, unexpected, and left a lasting public health impact that continues to affect communities. In April, country representatives from 18 partner organizations across 14 countries met to critically reflect on the most effective approaches from the USAID-funded Zika outbreak response from 2016-2019.
The “Learning from Zika” event built upon these conversations and share broadly applicable effective approaches identified across a variety of topics, including recommendations and discussions for the applicability of these practices to future outbreak responses.
Discussions focused on effective approaches in relation to community engagement strategies, effective coordination during an emergency response, impacts on services and health systems, support to affected families, and learning / adapting during a rapid response. Disease outbreaks are a worldwide concern and will continue to be a critical consideration in the future of public health. The USAID-funded Zika outbreak response offers a unique opportunity to explore experiences and knowledge gained.
USAID ASSIST Project Paraguay Chief of Party, Graciela Avila, was part of a panel discussion "Families First- Improving Services and Support for Affected Families." She highlighted some very important points:
“When providing care to children with Congenital Syndrome Associated with Zika, we need to remember that these are not just cases of microcephaly. These are children and families that need lifelong care and Psychosocial Support. Quality improvement gives countries ownership of their work. It allows them to analyze results, identify gaps and build improvement strategies of their response to health issues and improving staff capacities”
To view photographs and lessons learned, click here
See full panel discussion below: