WHO Organizes Workshop to Strengthen Preparedness and Response for Countries against Ebola
Brazzaville, 27 August 2014 - The first in a series of preparedness and response workshops aimed at strengthening Africa’s defences against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak occurring in parts of West Africa began on Tuesday in Brazzaville, Congo.
Organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the 3-day workshop brings together more than 40 Disease Prevention and Control Officers; Clinicians and Infection Control Officers; as well as Social Mobilization, Health Education and Communication experts from ten countries. Participants are drawn from the Ministries of Health and WHO Country Offices in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Opening the workshop, the Director of the Immunization, Vaccines and Emergencies Cluster at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr Deo Nshimirimana, said that despite efforts being made to control EVD, the outbreak was continuing and the number of cases and deaths increasing, thus constituting a threat for all African countries and the world.
Dr Deo Nshimirimana, representing Dr Luis Sambo, the Regional Director, said:” The EVD outbreak is now not only a health problem, it is threat to the economy and development of our countries as well, and we need to expedite efforts to quickly control the situation”.
Participants at the workshop will build their capacity in currently recommended strategies to control EVD. These include surveillance and data management; infection prevention and control; case management; laboratory sample collection and transportation, and social mobilization. Others are communication techniques and development of messages; logistics and proper use of Personal Protection Equipment and preparation of response and preparedness plans.
It is expected that at the end of the workshop, they would have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to adequately conduct similar workshops in their respective countries.
Since the start of the outbreak, first reported in Guinea on 21 March 2014, WHO and partners have deployed more than 450 people to the four affected countries - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria . Experts deployed include, among others, field coordinators, clinicians, epidemiologists, infec-tion control and prevention specialists, logisticians and data managers, communication specialists, medical anthropologists and social mobilizers.
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