The Ebola Virus Disease Response Plan, implemented in 2015, is being activated to increase awareness and educate stakeholders.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during a Statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 23.
As at July 17, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the Ebola Virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). That outbreak started in 2018.
Dr. Tufton informed that the Ministry is undertaking specialised training and retraining of relevant stakeholders, including Immigration and Customs personnel, Port Health Staff, Public Health Departments, Clinical Care Teams and all persons who may handle specimen.
Also, surveillance at points of entry to the island through sensitisation and screening will be enhanced, and clinical protocols for management and infection control practices are being reviewed.
“We are also reinforcing our laboratory response capabilities and preparing isolation areas at our public health facilities. Back in 2015, we had procured Personal Protective Equipment, which were distributed to hospitals,” Dr. Tufton said.
“We also put in storage emergency stock at the Ministry’s Central Stores. We are now doing an inventory of these items and additional items will be procured as required,” he added.
Dr. Tufton is also assuring the public that the current response arrangements are in place to enable an appropriate response in the event that the Ebola Virus disease is introduced to the island.
The Ebola Virus disease, formerly known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever, is a rare but severe and oftentimes fatal illness in humans. Since 1976, there have been 10 outbreaks. The 2018 outbreak has been protracted and has now extended to the main commercial centre in the DRC.