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Ebola Virus Outbreak Framework Essay

Overview of the Event

Ebola virus disease is a virus that is communicable through human-to-human contact as well as animal-to-human contact in which has promoted the spread of this virus that can be deadly if left untreated (WHO, 2014). Not only is the Ebola virus disease (EVD) quite contagious but is gaining momentum from community to community with lack of proper health care, containment, and the families of those that have been affected by the outbreak. There are widespread awareness by the World Health Organization (WHO) that there are short and long term psychological effects of the EVD outbreak due to the swiftness of how EVD can affect entire family members (PFA, 2014). Not only families are affected by the outbreak of EVD but the healthcare workers that are tending to the effected population are at increased risks of facing psychological trauma from their actions in containing the EVD spread (PFA, 2014).

The Size of FEMA and WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are the agencies that are taking the lead in containing the EVD outbreak. World Health Organization has actions in place to address the psychological trauma that is connected with this catastrophic event such as this event. FEMA has created a Catastrophic Incident Annex (2008) in which has collaborated with all federal departments and agencies in order to follow various guidelines in which is best to contain the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. The World Health Organization is the first in charge when it comes to how to do certain actions pertaining to the health within the United Nations system (WHO, 2014). FEMA is part of the Department of Homeland Security; therefore the agency itself is rather large on the net of what it can or does cover.

Qualifications and Skills of Employees for FEMA and WHO

There are over forty (40) members of the US Department of Home Homeland Security/FEMA that is in charge of what exactly happens in the event such as the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. Starting at the top of the chain of command within FEMA would be the administrator in which they would be the first in command to direct the rest of the team of FEMA. Each office within the FEMA organization is in charge of their own parts of the outbreak, ranging from equal rights to response and recovery. The qualifications are endless but are specific in which what area of the outbreak they can work on and containment of the outbreak. Protection and preparedness is a specific office within the FEMA organization where the employees focus on not only immediate needs of the outbreak but lessons learned, training on how to handle a community of an event such as the current outbreak of EVD (FEMA, 2014).

World Health Organization (2014) has more specific qualifications when it comes to containment and direct care of the psychological effects of EVD. It is considered a flexible organization to be part of in which the skills that an employee must possess is rather defined. At minimum a first year degree or equal professional trainings pertaining to the specific position being applied for, experience with national and international levels of conflicts and containments, excellent analytical skills, understanding of policy issues, heightened awareness of public health, proficient in a secondary United Nations language (Arabic, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish), effective team work, and communication skills (WHO, 2014).

Services Provided by FEMA and WHO

The World Health Organization is the global protector of health and welfare while Department of Homeland Security/FEMA is the national protector. Each of these organizations has their own specific role to do when it comes to covering the outbreak of EVD. The WHO is about the preventative measures before an outbreak while FEMA addresses the in-the-now moment of outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease. It is important to address not only the specific services each of these agencies can (and does) provide but their core functions as well. Once the functions are understood, the services that each organization provides can be better understood. While some services provided may not necessarily be directly connected with the psychological effects of the present danger of the Ebola Virus Disease, each organization has their own agenda in order to maintain their level of professionalism in the current crisis situation. FEMA focuses on national needs when disaster strikes and ensures that each community member within the declared disaster area have the means to recover from the event.

FEMA covers costs of housing needs such as temporary housing, repairs, replacements, permanent or semi-permanent housing construction (FEMA, 2014). In a crisis situation such as the current EVD outbreak, FEMA addresses the instant need as well as maintaining long term health. FEMA provides crisis counseling and training to maintain the mental and psychological health of community members that are directly affected by the EVD outbreak (FEMA, 2014). FEMA connects community members to counselors that are there to help sort out the magnitude of the Ebola virus disease outbreak and why it affects each person differently when it comes to mental and psychological health.

The Key Components of FEMA and WHO

FEMA has a national preparedness system that has six specific parts within it. According to FEMA (2014); Identifying and assessing risk, Estimating Capability Requirements, Building and sustaining capabilities, Planning to Deliver Capabilities, Validating Capabilities, and finally Reviewing and Updating.’ Each of these parts has their own goals and reasons why they are as they stand. Their main goal is the all the same; safety and resilience. The World Health Organization has six main core functions that they, as an international organization, strive to maintain. According to WHO (2014); ‘providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging partnerships where joint action is needed; shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation, and dissemination of valuable knowledge; setting norms and standards, and promoting and monitoring their implementations; articulating ethical and evidence based policy options; providing technical support, catalyzing changing, and building sustainable institutional capacity; monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.’

Overarching Mission of FEMA and WHO

World Health Organization has a general overall mission to keep the world safe of outbreaks, emergency assistance to disaster struck areas and the mass immunization campaigns to protect the world’s population of potentially deadly diseases (WHO, 2014). WHO is responsible for taking the lead in the current EVD outbreak so it is contained where it is found and eradicated as much as possible, as that is their sole mission statement. FEMA’s mission statement is to support citizens and first responders to make sure that the nation works together in order to sustain, build, and improve the capability to prepare, protect, respond, recover, and mitigate all potential hazards (FEMA, 2014). FEMA is responsible for the urge to have communities to work together in order to recover and sustain livelihood in the event such as our current EVD outbreak.

Role of FEMA and WHO with criminal justice system

FEMA is an extension of Department of Homeland security; it works rather closely in order to maintain their mission statement to support the nation in crisis events but it also adheres to the law side of what could potentially arise in the event of a situation that would cause the criminal justice system itself to crumble. WHO would not be part of the criminal justice system or rather, an extension of it, due to the international outlook it holds for the world and not just the United States criminal justice system.


Understanding, communication, and diligence in the event of a communicable virus such as Ebola Virus Disease is the number one priority around the world. From small knit communities in rural Kansas to the bustling metro stations of Hong Kong, the ability to address and contain Ebola Virus Disease is the most important agenda that the world can these communities can hold. When a country, city, and continent can understand the dire need to be educated on what exactly the Ebola Virus Disease can do the world’s population is when the virus is uncontrolled can have not only physical affects but psychological ones as well. Families, communities, governments crumble and the world is left in mayhem due to the psychological effects that is left from watching Ebola Virus Disease wipe out world as we know it. Leaning on World Health Organization and Federal Emergency Management Agency can lessen the stress and how the world takes the heavy psychological effects that are present for a lifetime.

Catastrophic Incident Annex. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nrf/nrf_CatastrophicIncidentAnnex.pdf Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2014). Retrieved from www.fema.org Psychological First Aid. (2014). Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/131682/1/9789241548847_eng.pdf?ua=1

World Health Organization. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

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