The Zika virus response in the region requires an integrated and holistic approach that includes various social, cultural and economic aspects. As such, capacity building needs to be strong component in responding to Zika, providing and reinforcing the skills in volunteers and staff who are at the front-lines of addressing the epidemic.
For this reason, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), through the Zika Operation, the Reference Centre for Institutional Disaster Preparedness (CREPD) and the Argentinean Red Cross held a training of trainers on Zika-related health topics. The workshop took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina and 25 participants from the Argentinean Red Cross, Chilean Red Cross, Paraguayan Red Cross, and the IFRC Regional Office received certification.
One of the main objectives of the workshop is to ensure that the training is later replicated at the local level at the different branches of the National Societies. “We will be able to multiply and replicate our mandate as a humanitarian organization, by being able to train volunteers and expand the level of our interventions in the communities.” – said Juares Cuevas, volunteer at the Paraguayan Red Cross.
The training consists of a mandatory Zika module, followed by a specialization in one of the following topics: epidemic control for volunteers; psychosocial support in emergencies; and sanitation and hygiene promotion. “Here in Argentina, the community does not have a lot of information about the Zika virus. This training provides us with ways that we can approach the community and provide them with the information to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, and so make sure that this disease does not continue spreading further.” – said Jessica Castro, volunteer at the Argentinian Red Cross.
Over the past year, the Operation together with CREPD held 5 regional trainings of trainers, providing facilitator certification to 127 participants from 11 National Societies. At the same time, more than 700 people have completed online training on Zika and epidemiological control, and over 2,000 volunteers were reached through capacity building activities.
For more information:
Zika Operation Americas: www.cruzroja-zika.org