Halting disease in the wake of disaster amidst the chaos of the world’s efforts to battle West Africa’s Ebola outbreak stands the often overlooked but ever-growing threat regarding the “collapse” of the three countries (Liberia, Guinea & Sierra Leone) hit hardest by the virus. “We were just bringing back hope and life when we were struck by Ebola,” Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown stated. “It is having terrible consequences for every aspect of our national existence.”
The current outbreak may not have been caused by a natural disaster specifically, but its defiant spread across an entire region can nonetheless be attributed to circumstances very similar to those following such a devastating occurrence. According to Brown, referencing Liberia’s costly war twelve years ago, the country experienced “a 90 per cent collapse in the productive sector of our economy, we were rebuilding and our health infrastructure was not what it should have been,” later stating that “only around 40 per cent of the country’s healthcare facilities were functioning.”
Furthermore, vaccine programs in areas experiencing power outages become not just unable to immunize citizens, but also maintain the cold chain.
This was obviously a recipe for disaster and for many developing countries, not an uncommon one. In these poorer nations, the disasters themselves are just the beginning: struggling infrastructures, inadequate housing and limited healthcare provisions all become instantly exacerbated following deadly disasters, creating entirely new emergencies requiring levels of urgency these countries are often unable to meet, especially in the effort to halt the spread of disease.
According to the medical journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, “the risk factors for outbreaks after disasters are associated primarily with population displacement. The availability of safe water and sanitation facilities, the degree of crowding, the underlying health status of the population, and the availability of healthcare services all interact within the context of the local disease ecology to influence the risk for communicable diseases and death in the affected population.”
As survivors often face little choice but to be herded together, they subsequently face the severe risk of exposure to various contagions and diseases, with their health more dependent than ever on the hygienic habits of the population, the ability of relief efforts to provide basic necessities such as clean drinking water. Furthermore, vaccine programs in areas experiencing power outages become not just unable to immunize citizens, but also maintain the cold chain, potentially resulting in unusable vaccines and health supplies.
Roemer Industries’ refrigeration is aimed specifically at avoiding these potential catastrophes.
In the wake of a disaster adequately stored medical supplies and vaccines can become a matter of life and death, often making a crucial difference in the widespread availability of emergency care and disease prevention. The technology Roemer Industries offers guarantees the safe storage of blood, medicine, emergency supplies, and of course, vaccines, with the capabilities to protect the cold chain, while withstanding electricity outages and physical deterioration.
In recent years, global efforts to provide quick relief following massive crises have become a small beacon of hope for many developing parts of the world most at risk. Roemer Industries aims to be part of this increasingly effective undertaking, ensuring that in these areas most at risk, when it rains it will not have to pour.