Cornwall Regional ready to battle Ebola. Old Renal Unit being converted into temporary isolation area
Adrian Frater, News Editor
WESTERN BUREAU: The board of management of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay believes the hospital, the premier health-care facility in western Jamaica, is now in a state of readiness to combat the deadly Ebola virus, which has been wreaking havoc in West Africa.
"We have been making the required preparation in terms of creating an isolated area and doing the required training of staff," said Calvin G. Brown, the chairman of the CRH board of management. "The staff is properly sensitised and ready ... . preparation is key to the handling of Ebola, so we are getting prepared."
In keeping with the established protocol of having an isolated area to treat Ebola patients, Brown said the hospital's old Renal Unit, which is poised to be converted into additional ward space, will serve as the designated area for Ebola patients until the completion of an isolation complex.
"We are now constructing additional facilities at a cost of J$30 million and an isolation complex will be a part of these new facilities," said Brown. "Once the complex is ready, we will have a permanent isolation area to treat Ebola and other illnesses that requires isolation."
"We are expecting that the permanent isolation area will be up and running in another three weeks," added Brown.
In a bid to ensure that the staff will be ready to treat Ebola cases with confidence, the CRH management has acquired the gear that staffers will be required to use and have been training them in how to use them properly.
"Once the staff is properly trained and understand the proper usage of the protective gear, it should boost their confidence, as they will know that they are protected," continued Brown. "Our isolation area is designed to maintain a sterile and infection-free area of the highest level."
Following a recent tour of the hospital by Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson in which he lauded the board for the preparatory work it has been doing in terms of getting the facility ready to battle Ebola, the hospital chairman said the Infection Control Team that it has put in place is now fully prepared and ready.
"The inspection team is led by Dr Barbara Grandison, who took the health minister on tour during his recent visit," said Brown. "We have every confident that Dr Grandison and her team will rise to any challenge that might confront us."