NATION

Ebola Response Tested

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the staff and management of Nadi International Airport, already has plans to fight the Ebola virus if it reaches the country. MoH conducted
06 Nov 2014 11:19
Ebola Response Tested

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the staff and management of Nadi International Airport, already has plans to fight the Ebola virus if it reaches the country.

MoH conducted a preventive exercise at Nadi International Airport with various stakeholders, yesterday.

The acting divisional medical officer -Western, Dr Susana Nakalevu, confirmed that the ministry and other stakeholders were prepared to take on the virus if it reaches the country.

“So far from today’s mock up the ministry and other stakeholders are ready for anything coming in.

“Our exercise today is mainly to asses our level of preparedness through our preparedness plan for Ebola and also how to practice the risk control on Ebola virus,” she said.

Preparing for the exercise for the past two months, Dr Nakalevu said that they had put together a scenario where staff were taught what procedures to take when a victim arrived into the country.

“We have put together a scenario looking at a suspected case coming back from an exposed country and so we have to activate our response plan from the different agencies that will be involved as the plane arrives.

“In the plan we have identified an isolation venue for the patient which is Lautoka Hospital for the Western Division and PJ Twomey Tamavua Hospital for the eastern,” she said.

Currently the isolated room can cater for three patients and the ministry is looking to expand the venue should the case worsen.

Dr Nakalevu said although the risk factor for Fiji is low there was still a need for people to take extra precaution.

“At the moment the threat in Fiji is still assessed as low but we still need to be ready which is why we are conducting this exercise.

“We have formulated an extra sheet for Ebola to be distributed in the plane for passengers coming in which includes also the past countries they have recently been to and we hope that they will fill it with honesty,” she said.

Dr Nakalevu also confirmed that proper gear will be provided to the staff and health team for these preventive measures.

“For our protective gear the World Health Organisation has recommended and has currently ordered them. In the meantime we are currently using some gear that we had when we were preparing for H1N1.

“We will make sure to have that protective gear for our staff,” she said.

Feedback: varanisese.nasilasila@fijisun.com.fj

 

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