Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Feisal Omar  A displaced Somali family stands out in the rain after their makeshift shelter was destroyed.
Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Feisal Omar

AmeriCares is working to stop the spread of infectious diseases that have sickened generations of people.

In many communities, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis and diarrheal diseases such as cholera are endemic, cutting lives short and adding a burden to families. But with prevention and treatment, this legacy of illness can end.

Scientists know how these diseases are spread. And we know how to stop them. A combination of medicine, behavior change and savvy public health actions can begin to slow transmission of highly infectious viruses and bacteria until they are no longer a threat.

Learn more about how AmeriCares is working in many communities around the world to prevent, treat and change behavior to stop the spread of communicable diseases.

Cholera—Each year, as many as five million people struggle with this water-borne disease, especially after disasters when poor sanitation and overcrowding are a problem. AmeriCares not only sends medical supplies to prevent and treat cholera, but we are training health care workers who will, in turn, train others, creating a chain of prevention and quick response.

HIV/AIDS— Great strides have been made in reducing infection rates of HIV around the world. Now, the job is to make certain these changes last—and to bring effective prevention and treatment programs to areas where the virus is still spreading. AmeriCares trains health care workers to prevent accidental infection and provides HIV-positive mothers with treatment to prevent transmission to their babies.

Malaria—This mosquito-borne disease sickens more than 2 million people a year, killing more than 650,000—86 percent of which are children under age 5. Especially after flooding, AmeriCares disaster relief aid includes mosquito nets and malaria medicines in areas where the disease is a risk.

Hepatitis B—Left untreated, this highly infectious disease can result in liver disease and cancer. But an infected person might not even know they are sick, increasing risk for those close to them—hepatitis B is spread through contact with bodily fluids and contaminated needles, similar to HIV. AmeriCares is vaccinating health workers and educating mothers-to-be in developing countries, to help protect the most vulnerable populations where Hepatitis B is endemic.