Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Thousands of local health workers trained in Ebola Mgmt

Published:Saturday | January 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMRichard Mitchell

MORE THAN 2,000 local health workers have received training in Ebola management since the Ministry of Health started preparations for a possible case of the deadly disease reaching Jamaican shores.

Health personnel who participated in the training exercise included doctors, nurses, laboratory personnel, porters and drivers.

"We have been working to ensure that our workers are prepared and knowledgeable about what is required of them if they ever have to be called upon to manage a case of Ebola," Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse, acting chief medical officer, pointed out.

At least 2,215 health workers have been trained to manage Ebola. In addition, 100 doctors and nurses have received specialised training to work in Ebola treatment centres and hospital isolation rooms in the South East and Western Regional Health authorities.

Specialised training will soon begin in the North East and Southern Regional Health authorities.

Last October, a Nigerian national, Dr Bob Banjo, caused panic when he checked himself into the Mandeville Regional Hospital with symptoms similar to Ebola. He was not diagnosed with the disease.

Dr Banjo later spoke with The Gleaner about the incident and categorised the staff as "not prepared".

 

DEADLY DISEASE

 

Ebola is considered a deadly disease, killing about 50 per cent of persons who contract it.

The disease can be transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids (stool, saliva, urine, and semen) of an infected person. It can also be spread if someone comes in contact with the blood of an infected person.

Since there is no vaccine or specific treatment for Ebola, members of the public are advised to avoid direct physical contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms. Symptoms of the disease include a sudden onset of fever, joint and muscle pains, headache, sore throat, lethargy, diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach pain.