Is there a business continuity plan for emergencies like an Ebola outbreak or other pandemics?

Nirmal Kandel

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Abstract: During emergencies, the health system will be overwhelmed and challenged by various factors like staff absenteeism and other limited resources. More than half of the workforce in Liberia has been out of work since the start of the Ebola outbreak. It is vital to continue essential services like maternal and child health care, emergency care and others while responding to emergencies like an Ebola outbreak other pandemic or disaster.


Having a business continuity plan (BCP) and involving various sectors during planning and implementing the plan during a crisis will assist in providing essential services to the public. An established BCP will not only help the continuity of services, it also assists in maintaining achievements of sustainable development. This applies to all sectors other than health, for instance, energy sectors, communication, transportation, education, production and agriculture.


Keywords: business continuity plan, emergency, Ebola outbreak, pandemic


Nirmal Kandel has worked for the World Health Organization since 2004 in various capacities in the area of disease surveillance, health systems and emergency. He has worked in Nepal and India and is currently working in Indonesia in the capacity of Medical Officer for Preparedness, Surveillance and Response, looking after emergency humanitarian action and disease surveillance and epidemiology. He endeavours to strengthen countries’ capacities to implement the International Health Regulations (2005) and emergency and pandemic preparedness and response. He has helped countries to develop their business continuity planning for epidemic, pandemic and/or emergencies. He is a medical doctor with post-graduations in anthropology (MA), public health (MPH) and business administration (EMBA).

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