PAHO/WHO, in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, has launched a project to prevent transmission of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus in prisons, orphanages, and homes for the elderly in the Region of the Americas. The project includes activities to prevent and treat influenza in institutions in Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, and Panama.

The purpose of this project is to improve institutional and personal hygiene measures in the facilities identified, intensify efforts to treat cases of influenza, and prevent the disease in specific vulnerable populations. Activities include early detection and immediate treatment of people suffering from influenza. Systems will be introduced to facilitate registration along with procedures for monitoring and reporting of cases.

This project is significant for people in prison or living in orphanages and homes for the elderly who tend to face difficult hygiene situations. In many cases gender issues are not taken into consideration in institutional settings. Age is a contributing factor for certain health conditions, increasing vulnerability to influenza for the elderly. For more information on this project, contact Dr. Dana Van Alphen, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..