Women and Infants Service Package (WISP) (National)


The Women and Infants Service Package (WISP) was developed in 2007 by the National Working Group for Women and Infant Needs in Emergencies in the United States. It addresses the rationale, goals, and activities needed to protect the health of pregnant women, new mothers, fragile newborns, and infants during an emergency. Guidelines focus on 3 key areas: 1) Responsibilities for coordinating and implementing maternal and child healthcare plans; 2) Prevention of excess neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality during an emergency; and 3) Collection, analysis, and use of information to manage healthcare through surveillance. The guide uses an all-hazards approach and occasionally provides information on international disaster settings, risk of gender-based violence, and risk of HIV/STD transmission after a disaster. Much of the information, however, could be applicable to maternal and infant health during and after an influenza pandemic. The WISP includes several tools for surveillance and care by professionals, trained lay people, and family members. An indicators checklist allows public health professionals to identify population prevalence of maternal and infant risk factors, organizations and individuals that provide key services, and responsibilities for various services in their jurisdiction. The WISP also includes an extensive list of web-based resources for maternal and infant health during an emergency, suggestions for an out-of-hospital birth kit for birthing professionals and families, tips on preventing HIV transmission, breastfeeding tips, and disaster planning considerations from the March of Dimes. The WISP is particularly noteworthy, since it represents a collaboration between healthcare, public health, and international non-profit organizations to address a lack of information on maternal and infant health in federal and state emergency plans. Its emphasis on activities to protect maternal, neonatal, and infant health provide women and birthing professionals with concrete tools and information to prepare themselves for a variety of emergencies.

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