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Women and Infants Service

women and infants service package: wisp national working group for women and infants in emergencies december 2006 what is wis
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Women and Infants Service Package: WISP
National Working Group for Women and Infants in Emergencies
December 2006
What is WISP?
The mass chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina was a wakeup call for
emergency and disaster preparedness program developers and for
maternal and child health providers as it became increasingly apparent
that many city and state emergency disaster plans do not take into
account the special needs of two of the most vulnerable populations in
such events: pregnant women and newborns. In the wake of Katrina,
members of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood formed a
working group to devise a package of guidelines for state and local
government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private groups,
and individuals on how to plan for meeting the needs of these
vulnerable groups during the acute phase of an emergency. These
guidelines, known as the Women and Infants Services Package (WISP),
present a framework for the minimum and initial actions needed to
respond to the essential health care needs of pregnant women, new
mothers, fragile newborns, and infants in a crisis or emergency, such
as a natural disaster, an epidemic, or a terrorist event. WISP
includes general information, rationale, activities and actions,
recommended equipment and supplies, and a monitoring and surveillance
component.
Goal and Objectives
The goal of WISP is to ensure that the health care needs of pregnant
women, new mothers, fragile newborns, and infants are adequately met
during and after a disaster. WISP guidelines address three major
objectives:
1. Identify organizations and individuals who will be responsible for
coordinating and implementing WISP and advocate for the unique needs
of women and newborns.
2. Prevent excess neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality by:
• meeting the special needs of pregnant women and infants before,
during, and in the
aftermath of a disaster.
• preventing and managing the consequences of sexual and genderbased
violence.
• preventing unplanned pregnancies.
• reducing HIV and STI transmission.
3. Collect, analyze, and use information to better manage maternal and
infant health care programs in emergencies through monitoring and
surveillance.
Each topic area includes an explanation of why this needs to be
addressed and lists key activities to consider during planning and
implementation.
To download WISP or for information:
http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/ or call 202.775.9680

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