Disease control and monitoring

Health organizations remind people of the importance of regular hand washing with warm water and soap. People who developed the flu are advised to stay home to recover and avoid spreading the virus to others. Then, some people started doing something most of us hadn't seen before: wearing respiratory masks.

The CDC revised its healthcare protocols for flu prevention to include facemasks and respirators in 2010. They recommend that healthcare workers wear face masks when in contact with potential and infected patients; and to patients who show signs of respiratory infections.

 

With the outbreak of Ebola, ensuring safe entrance into healthcare was particularly challenging for children, and pregnant women, as well as those without an established connection to healthcare.

 

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Before similar monitoring programs are considered in the future, careful thought must be given to necessary resources and the impact on affected populations, public health, and the healthcare system.

According to Africa CDC, Africa has made tremendous progress to address continental challenges, as seen in response to threats posed by TB, HIV/AIDS, and malaria over the past two decades. Working on prevention, treatment, care of HIV/AIDS, Africa was able to drop the number of newly infected people with HIV by about 41% during 2000–2014 (more than in any other region in the world) and reach out with HIV treatment to almost 11 million people by 2014 and has averted an estimated 5.4 million deaths, with AIDS-related deaths being reduced by nearly half since 2005.

Unlike slow-onset health problems and other development agendas, public health emergencies and disasters demand close monitoring and rapid control and prevention mechanisms to be in place. These mechanisms include infrastructure for surveillance—early case detection and early warning system, preparedness and capacity building at all administrative levels, and rapid response and recovery mechanism with all the logistics and workforce. However, in certain public health crises, the capacities of an individual country may not be sufficient to meet the challenges resulting from cross-border or regional events.

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