CARPHA trains personnel to better manage outbreak situations in region

The workshop was  geared at bolstering the region's preparedness for Ebola
The workshop was geared at bolstering the region’s preparedness for Ebola

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), hosted from November 17-21 two workshops on shipping of infectious substances and biosafety practices in clinical laboratory. The workshops were geared at bolstering the Region’s preparedness for Ebola and other high risk threats by strengthening the capabilities of Member States to manage possible outbreak situations.

The training workshops included 14 participants from 12 Caribbean countries. The “Infectious Shipping Training” (November 17-19, 2014) focused on categorization, packaging and shipping of infectious substances. Successful participants received certification for a period of two years to package and ship Category A, Infectious substances. The training was done in accordance with the WHO Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances 2013 -2014.

Additionally, training on Biosafety Practices for the Clinical Laboratory (November 19-21, 2014) included the implementation of both biosafety and biosecurity measures based on the WHO Biorisk Management Programme to protect the staff and the environment. Special emphasis was put on the proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), work in biosafety cabinets and waste management.

According to Dr Cristina Gutierrez, the Director of Laboratory Services and Networks at CARPHA, “the purpose of these workshops is to remind laboratories of the procedures that they should follow at all times when handling samples.” Dr. Gutierrez explained that participants learnt how to handle infectious substances safely and work in a safe laboratory by mitigating the risks.

It is anticipated that persons who have been trained will become trainers in their respective institutions and countries.

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  1. The Facts
    November 28, 2014

    I am wondering if DNO will care to post this interesting information which I got from formerly I recognize that Dominicans may not be interested, being scared for their health, to volunteer for this mission. I do not blame them. Nevertheless, some others residing elsewhere may be interested. I have no idea if other progressive countries are doing likewise. It is a mission of assisting those in need which is one of the Godly Works of Mercy, not only to receive earthly compensation and recognition but if performed in that godly spirit, one which God will highly reward in His time. God bless those who are brave enough to apply and be accepted for this great mission and assist them also health-wise.

    Canadians asked to volunteer for risky but ‘rewarding’ Ebola fight

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    The Canadian Red Cross says Canadian health care workers are desperately needed to volunteer to fight Ebola in West Africa, and that while the work will be tough, it is also hugely rewarding.

    Angela Mulholland, Staff writer – Nov 28 – CTV News.

    The Canadian Red Cross says Canadian health care workers are desperately needed to volunteer to fight Ebola in West Africa, and that while the work will be tough, it is also hugely rewarding.
    Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced on Thursday that the Red Cross has formed a partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada for a recruitment campaign called “Join the Fight Against Ebola.”
    They are actively seeking doctors and nurses for the missions, as well as psychosocial support workers, water and sanitation engineers, and infection control workers.
    The volunteers will be asked to commit to an eight-week mission, which will include one week of training, four weeks on the ground at an Ebola treatment centre, and then three more weeks at home for recovery and self-monitoring.
    Hossam Elsharkawi, the director of emergencies with the Canadian Red Cross, welcomes the recruitment partnership with PHAC.
    “This relationship will help us to scale up even further the recruitment and the deployment of people who are needed in the field to fight Ebola,” he told CTV’s Canada AM Friday from Ottawa.
    Elsharkawi says the Canadian Red Cross has been actively recruiting workers since mid-October, and that more than 300 Canadians have applied. But he says the selection process is rigorous.
    Recruiters look at the health skills of the workers, of course, but they also assess their physical fitness and mental well being, and the workers’ obligations with their family at home.
    “Not everyone is necessarily suitable to work in these rather difficult conditions,” Elsharkawi said.
    The missions are short — just four weeks — because the work is demanding. Workers must don several layers of protective gear every day while working in tropical conditions, treating patients who are often desperately ill.
    “Our delegates coming back are telling us it is both emotionally and physically exhausting to do this type of mission,” Elsharkawi said.
    Because Ebola has such a high fatality rate, it’s often emotionally draining for workers to know that many of their patients will die.
    “But those who make it also come back and say it is the most gratifying and rewarding work they have done because they are making a difference,” said Elsharkawi.
    The work is also dangerous. According to the World Health Organization, 592 health care workers have been infected with Ebola as of Nov. 23 — the vast majority local – and of those, 340 have died.
    Elsharkawi says the Red Cross has several precautions and protocols in place throughout the recruitment, training, deployment and the repatriation process to ensure worker safety. Of the approximately 200 people the global Red Cross has deployed to Ebola treatment centres since March, he says none have become infected.
    The Red Cross hopes to have 15 to 20 Canadians cycling through West Africa on an ongoing basis for the next six to 12 months.
    PHAC is promising that federal health workers deployed on Ebola missions will be given their full benefits, salaries and pensions, as well as job protection.

  2. true
    November 27, 2014

    sounding good

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