If there’s one enormous lesson US-based health organizations can take from the Ebola crisis, it’s to be prepared. Yet in my experience working with health departments across the United States, this preparedness rarely trickles down to community health workers.
CHWs are, as One Million Community Health Workers says, “uniquely positioned to improve access to care, health-seeking behavior, and healthy behavior.” CHWs can play a critical role in educating communities in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) awareness and protection and also contact tracing and surveillance.
If you haven’t yet begun training your CHWs in what to do with Ebola in your community, start now. Here are a few dependable resources you can begin with by circulating to your team:
Ebola: What Business Travellers Need To Know
Excellent introductory video from International SOS on risks and statistics about EVD. Aimed at business travelers, but helpful information for anyone wondering more about the disease.
What Is Contact Tracing?
Helpful infographic from the CDC on what contact tracing is and how the process works. Especially useful for understanding how CHWs fit into the process.
Standard Operating Procedures for Contact Tracing and Follow up during Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak
A succinct 11-page document that outlines the procedures for contact tracing and gives worksheets for keeping notes.
Ebola Guides and Factsheets from CDC
A comprehensive website that contains constantly updated information on new guidelines and instructions on dealing with EVD, from signs and symptoms to treatment.