Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Blacker than Black: Failing to Reach Slum Communities in Disease Outbreaks

Poor economic environments and unstable living spaces, insufficient water supply, inadequate sanitation and high population density create favourable conditions for the spread of infectious diseases. Robust community engagement and communication strategies can help to raise awareness and to develop skills and are crucial to the success of an outbreak response in densely overcrowded urban conditions. Small gains have been made in an urban context and importantly a procedure to reach slum communities in a disease outbreak has not yet emerged. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the urgent need for international agencies to cooperate to develop guidelines on how to effectively reach slum communities in disease outbreaks and to make recommendations for the next steps to resolve the present situation.