Dealing with a possible epidemic
An epidemic is arguably a countries worst nightmare. If not prepared for an epidemic can cause as many casualties as war, minus the physical destruction. Epidemics such as the Black Plague have caused deaths on large scales.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, the flu-pandemic that hit worldwide in 2009 has been notable. Here we use the word pandemic instead of epidemic as a pandemic denotes an infectious disease that hits worldwide as opposed to an epidemic which is limited to a particular population.
The question lies in how can countries prepare when there is a high risk of an epidemic? Of course, those infectious diseases borne without prior warning and knowledge causing a surprise attack cannot be foreseen, however, in the case of a now known epidemic that is threatening to spread across the world, countries not yet affected can prepare to ensure they are equipped to prevent and tackle the disease if required. There are multitudes of ways to achieve this. Let us explore some…
First and foremost, hygiene should be paid extra attention at all levels of healthcare including primary, secondary and care at home. All it takes is a poorly maintained bathroom or bed sheets, poor food hygiene and hygiene in general for a patient to come into contact with infectious disease and thus put everyone in a ward at risk. Especially with the case of an outside threat, constantly keeping the environment clean and tidy will ensure any potential outbreak can be nullified.
Clinical trials are an effective way to source medication or a vaccination against a disease. Usually a vaccination involves introducing a weak strain of the disease into your body, which the immune system will react to and create the necessary antibodies to combat the disease. The anti-bodies remain in our system for a lengthy period of time. In the case of a disease such as Ebola where there is no licensed treatment, it would be to invest in and test potential cures collaborating with a drug company and a sponsor to fund the trials.
In the example of an outside threat, screening individuals entering the country from countries where the disease is apparent is a good way of localising the disease and can also help with clinical trials.
Arguably the most important aspect of any epidemic or pandemic is to raise awareness of the disease. In particular, raise awareness of the symptoms of a disease, which will encourage the public to get screened or diagnosed if they exhibit any of the symptoms.
Bringing it all together
DCC have had the pleasure of working in all the above types of processes and activities. We understand the sensitive nature of the data and the importance of data accuracy. You can read about:
– Awareness Raising work with the Stroke Association
– Clinical Research with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
– Chlamydia Sex Screening
With over a decade worth of experience working with organisations in the health and public sector, we possess a wealth of knowledge in providing a bespoke data management toolkit. To learn more contact us to book your free assessment.