Around the world, the health status of people living in rural areas is generally worse than in urban areas. Even in countries where the majority of the population lives in rural areas, the resources are concentrated in the cities and, for many people, seeing a healthcare provider means embarking on a long-distance journey to an urban area.
Most emerging diseases stem from the transmission of pathogenic agents from animals to humans, most often in rural settings. Interface between people, wildlife, livestock and the environment are a common cause of most of today’s pandemics and Ebola showed us that fragile health systems are the catalyst for uncontrollable outbreaks.
Disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. The ability to respond in a timely manner – even in the most remote areas – is essential to save lives. With the acute phase of disaster response measured in just hours, that brief window of opportunity when most lives can be saved and life threatening issues contained – speed of deployment is critical.