Nov 28, 2016
MCDI and its Partners Launch New USAID Project "Engaging Communities in Responding to Zika in Guatemala and El Salvador"
Medical Care Development International (MCDI) jointly with the Guatemalan Red Cross, the Salvadoran Red Cross, and in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), is pleased to announce the launch of USAID’s “Engaging Communities in Responding to Zika in Guatemala and El Salvador” project. The three-year project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and will work to strengthen local level-capacity to respond to the Zika epidemic through collaboration with Red Cross volunteers, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), women’s groups, youth and school groups, churches and others. The project will adapt approaches developed by the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), World Health Organization/Pan-American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
MCDI and its partners will conduct community-based Aedes surveillance and targeted breeding site reduction focusing on the most productive or key containers and premises. A modified Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI) approach, ELITA, will be used to teach and encourage communities to eliminate key breeding sites/containers (Eliminar), clean garbage (Limpiar), and cover water receptacles (Tapar). Social and behavior change interventions will also communicate the risks associated with the Zika virus disease, promote healthy behaviors, seek to reduce anxiety, address stigma, dispel rumors, and resolve cultural misperceptions. The Red Cross volunteers will work with community health workers and other community agents to conduct community-based case surveillance and referral of suspected cases to health facilities for testing and counseling. Particular attention will be focused on at-risk populations, especially pregnant women and marginalized groups.
MCDI's work in Guatemala and El Salvador will be integral to USAID's goal of supporting national governments and communities to control the spread, manage the complications and mitigate the consequences of Zika virus infection in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The international division of Medical Care Development, MCDI, was founded in 1977 with the belief that MCD’s successful approach to health systems development in the rural United States could be adapted to meet the needs of developing nations. A global non-profit organization, MCDI uses evidence-based, high-impact and cost-effective approaches to strengthen health systems and disease control in developing countries. For almost 40 years, MCDI has worked to improve the health of vulnerable populations overseas through integrated, sustainable and locally-driven interventions. MCDI has implemented public health programs in over 40 countries aimed at targeting the world’s most vulnerable populations. MCDI collaborates with donors, national governments, health agencies, the private sector, communities and local stakeholders to improve health and save lives in the following areas: prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases; maternal, neonatal and child health; and water, sanitation and hygiene.
The Guatemalan Red Cross National Society - is a nonprofit, voluntary institution that, as part of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, aims to prevent and alleviate human suffering, protect the life and health of individuals and respond to emergencies.
The Salvadorean Red Cross National Society - is a nonprofit, voluntary institution that, as part of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, aims to provide basic health services and actions through integrated programs and projects to ensure sustainability.
Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA) - is the political arm of the System for Central American Integration (SICA) and is composed of the Ministers/Secretaries of Health of eight member countries (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic). COMISCA provides direction for the regional health sector in the identification, characterization and provision of solutions to regional health problems.