The Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Health and Social Service Committee of the National Disaster Management Council are continuing ongoing preparations for any potential impact of the Ebola Virus.
The subcommittee met again on Friday, October 24 with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Department of Disaster Management, Health Services Authority, Environmental Health Unit, BVI Airports Authority, Customs and Immigration to discuss ongoing plans for the management of the Ebola Virus.
The meeting was chaired by Medical Officer Dr. Ronald Georges, who has also been tasked with the Health Disaster Management portfolio.
“This meeting was very interactive as a draft National Ebola Plan was shared and discussed in detail and agencies reported on progress made towards plan development,” Dr. Georges shared.
According to Dr. Georges, the Health Services Authority completed initial training for Environmental Services staff in the areas of decontamination and disinfection and initial screening has commenced at all clinics. An isolation area has been identified and equipped at the hospital and screening at all ports of entry were also reviewed.
“The next steps will include addressing capacity through agreement with private health care facilities and training for medical response and psycho-social teams,” Dr. Georges disclosed. “We also have to review the procedure for the disposal of dead bodies and infectious waste. This will be covered as we review the national mass fatality plan.”
According to Dr. Georges, the ministry is in process of a launching an education campaign. “We want to make sure that correct information is disseminated to our populace as well as life saving information of do’s and don’ts, so collectively we can all help to lower our risk to this virus,” he stated.
“At this time we want to reassure the public that a tremendous amount of work is being undertaken, we are training, networking, educating and planning as we prepare for any eventuality of this virus,” Dr. Georges concluded.
Ebola is a severe often fatal disease that spreads through direct contact with a sick person’s blood or other body fluids like, feces, saliva, urine, vomit and semen. It can also spread through direct contact with object contaminated with a sick persons’ blood or body fluids or from an infected animal.