The study provides a response plan of the outbreak of Ebola virus in Congo through Laverack’s components of community empowerment. In addition, the use of top down approach or bottom down approach has been critically evaluated. It shows that the participation and cooperation is required for mitigating the health problems among the Congo people. The differentiation between top down and bottom up approach has been evaluated in order to understand its implementation in the response plan. This shows that community participation and involvement is required for overcoming the Ebola outbreak in Congo. Proper knowledge and awareness are required for making people aware of the health facilities and problems
The outbreak of Ebola Kivu has been witnessed in 2018 when it has been found to be positive for Ebola virus in DRC. The study provides a response plan through Laverack’s components of community empowerment. In addition, the use of top down approach or bottom down approach has been critically evaluated.
2.Top -down approach and bottom -up approach
Top down approach is able to break a massive problem into smaller problems while the bottom up approach helps in solving the low level problems and integrating into larger ones. In this context, bottom down approach is required as it will help in making people aware of the causes and reasons of outbreak of Ebola virus in Congo. Ahmad & Talib (2015) stated that bottom up approach helps in particular amount of communication through which people can be made aware of the causes of breakout of Ebola virus. In this context, the possible reasons of this outbreak are handling of infected animals and spreading of this disease through the infected persons. The bottom up approach helps in resolving the problems in the root cause level through setting up of care centres and making people aware of requirement of cleanliness.
Advantage of both approaches for plan
The top down approach helps in analysing the risks by aggregation of the effects of internal failures while in bottom up approach, intensive data is used for analysing the risks. In the top down approach, no methods o communication is required but in bottom up approach, communication plays an important role. De Almeida Melo, Da Silva & Figueiredo (2018) commented that top down approach is found to have redundant information but in bottom up approach, redundancy can be eliminated. In this context, bottom up approach is required as it helps in implementing proper communication methods for removing the root cause problems of Ebola virus in remote regions of Congo. Most of the remote regions of Congo have been found to be effected with Ebola which requires cooperation from local communities and health workers. A bottom up approach will help in assessing the costs taht are required for treating Ebola.
Figure 1:community sategies
According to Howard-Grabman et al. (2017), community engagement is one of the most important factors for overcoming the outbreak of any disease. In this context, the officials of WHO have cooperated with the local people in giving vaccinisation and medication that can help in prevention of diseases. WHO (World Health Organisation) is required to work with various groups in the community level for preventing the further outbreak of Ebola virus. It is to be noted that the virus has spread in Congo for the fourth time which raises the question in the hygienic problems in the country. Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 1,200 cases of Ebola have been found with confirming of more than 760 deaths. Community engagement can help in preventing violence and fear in Congo enabling the communities to live a healthy life. In this context, engaging the local communities can help in understanding their hygienic issues and health problems.
Consultation is important for having effective communication with the heath workers in understanding the precautions that required to be taken for leading a healthy life. Consultation with the health workers helps in understanding the medical services that are available for overcoming the concerned health issues (Kane et al. 2016). As DRC has scarce funding, so the international organisations are required to donate money for their speedy recovery. This process helps in consulting with the medical practitioners and the health providers in Congo for making right decisions regarding Ebola. In addition, the nongovernmental organisations and the interest groups play an important role in creating awareness regarding Ebola virus in lower level. In this context, local leadership is required to cooperate with the locals and health providers for giving proper delivery of health care services. As for example, the leaders should organise the health checkups for prevention of further outbreak.
Participation helps the individuals for having a better chance of accomplishing their health goals while working with other people who are facing the similar situations. For instance, the use of participative learning among the people of Congo will help in understanding the care and intervention is required for pregnant women. In the words of Gostin, Kavanagh & Cameron (2019), the women in the intervention clusters can gain knowledge regarding the antenatal care, hygienic care, institutional delivery and birth attendance for overcoming the Ebola virus attack. This participation can help in strengthening social networks’ and improving social support among women. This can help in ensuing cooperative services between the health care providers and pregnant women. Social support is considered to be a significant determinant on health which helps in creating health awareness and promotion among masses. Sharing of problems help in getting an understanding of the strategies like clinical care and advanced healthy facilities.
According to Benton & Dionne (2015), linking of the people with the organisations helps in developing relationships with which aids in empowerment through pooling of resources. It implies that the health practitioners need to work with the local women for identification of their needs. However, some staffs of WHO have been killed while they have been offering their services in Congo due to the violence in the area. The health care officials are required to be vigilant of the situation and ensure proper support to the locals (Salmon, McLaws & Fisher, 2015). Organisation of self help groups and community health groups are required for overcoming the reactive issues of the region. Assessment of the problems in remote areas can help in resolving conflicts and building capacities through proper medical and disease control measures. The locals in the remote areas of Congo should be encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle by adhering to cleanliness and refrain from handling of infected animals. Proper information should be given so that the locals follow healthy practices and procedures of early medication.
The role of a health practitioner is to provide leadership that can help in providing resources and enthusiasm for lending support to the communities. This results in capacity building where the health practitioners and the government work together for building effective health infrastructure. Congo has been found to a country having rich resources but scarcity of funds. In the words of Mondiale de la Sante & World Health Organization (2019), active participation of community groups, health practitioners, interest groups and the government can help in preventing the disease. It is required to have a bottom up approach for making people aware of the diseases. In addition, the people should be prevented to move to affected regions. However, health practitioners have been found to face difficulty in controlling the design and implementation of the program. Moreover, they may find difficulty in accepting the validity of knowledge by which the community members can build their own capacities. In this respect, it is required for the health practitioners to understand the local needs for making people aware of their health problems. It has been found that building of capacities help in sharing of knowledge and ideas for prevention of outbreak of Ebola virus in remote regions.
Action and possibly empowerment
The process of empowering of communities begins when an individual experiences a high degree of powerlessness which results in triggering of personal actions and emotional responses. Through the participation in small interest groups, the community members in Congo can be able to act, analyse and define on attack of Ebola virus (Blumberg et al. 2016). In the context of health promotion, the participation and personal actions in planning phase are determined by the identification of the requirements of health facilities for preventing the attack of Ebola virus. Collective action from the health care practitioners and international organisations help in understanding the health problems of locals. However, focussing on the structural issues results in neglecting of the immediate needs of the people. The people in Congo are required to refrain from contacting with the infected persons or animals and avoiding bush meat. It is also required that they do not handle the remains which are the greater sources of spreading the virus. Forna et al. (2016) are of the view that empowerment of the people implies that they should be able to make decisions regarding the health facilities and treatment that they are entitled to get. In addition to this, the health care practitioners should give free checkups to Congo people in order to make early diagnosis of Ebola. This can help the pregnant women to take precautionary measures for prevention of transmission of virus to their children.
It can be concluded that Laverack’s components of community empowerment is effective in devising a response plan that is appropriate for prevention of Ebola outbreak in Congo. Proper consultation and communication is required for making people aware of the reasons of Ebola outbreak and taking necessary measures for preventing it. In this context, consultation can help the people to understand the treatment and vaccination measures that can help in prevention of Ebola. It is to be noted that the pregnant women of Congo are the most affected ones as the virus is carried out to their babies. Therefore, the bottom up approach can help in mitigating the problems of health in local levels.
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