St. Lucia stations Ebola medical teams at airports

slu airportCASTRIES – The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations continues its overall process of readiness to the global Ebola threat by strengthening port surveillance through the inclusion of nurses at the country’s main international airport, the Hewanorra International airport.

Such assistance is also being provided at the George F.L. Charles Airport. Similar arrangements are actively being considered for other ports of entry. The employment of this strategy facilitates the identification and tracking of arriving passengers who may be at risk for exposure to the Ebola virus due to their travel history. Ebola is a viral disease which is spread through direct contact with the secretions and body fluids of infected persons or animals. This disease is not endemic to St. Lucia and as such the risk of infection to general members of the public is low.

However, the possibility exists that the disease may be introduced into our island, from a traveler (national or non-national) who may have recently been to West Africa and who may have had contact with infected animals or persons during their stay in West Africa.

The Ministry of Health has put all health facilities on ‘Ebola alert’ and has commenced the training of health care workers in the management of the Ebola Virus. Isolation rooms have been identified in the relevant institutions and the necessary infection control measures have been instituted. Protocols have been developed in conjunction with other stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach in the event of a suspected case on the island.

The Ministry of Health has collaborated with the Saint Lucia Fire Service, Customs and Excise, Immigration, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority to facilitate the coordinated management of the Ebola threat to the island. Ebola sensitization has been done for Customs and Excise in the north and south of the island. Other staff at both airports have been sensitized on the Ebola Virus by the Ministry of Health’s Outbreak and response teams.

The focal points of all of the medical schools and the hotels are working closely with the National Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in the surveillance of students and visitors arriving on the island. Such active surveillance will also be extended to religious institutions, other tertiary schools and other entities with frequent clients from countires affected by Ebola.


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  1. BMB
    September 2, 2014

    We all know how the health officials operate here. It’s always a, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” kind of attitude. We barely got a ‘whisper’ from the SOLE Epidemiologist we have on the chikungunya outbreak. Another doctor came out beating her chest and patting herself on the back ONLY when the virus (spread) was on the decline. I bet that you’ll NEVER hear from the CMO again…. Watch it eh..! I tell y’all NEVER. To me, a Certified Medical Certificate should accompany ANY individual , foreign or domestic, travelling from a country where the Ebola virus has been identified. Threatened with immediate deportation, what do they expect someone to put on a ‘questionnaire’? If you ask the devil if his teeth :mrgreen: are white he’ll tell you no? Pray my people. That is our only hope. Left to Min. of Health? ONE infection here? We’re ALL Dead..!!

  2. Hope
    September 2, 2014
  3. Anonymous
    September 2, 2014

    Please look at this the amount of schools from nigeria never know which ones are coming also look at this since the school is in Now please do not bring them here.Like to be honest my links say them all.

  4. uk Dominican
    September 2, 2014

    a very very precautionary move,with international perspective,airlines will continue to have confidence, the tourist industry in st lucia they understand the importance of this team at airport.

  5. Ms. B
    September 2, 2014

    CMO please take a very careful note of this article. St. Lucia has a well thought of plan. The questionnaire screening which you mentioned is insufficient and may will be too late in the event that an infected person ends up on island

  6. Apple
    September 2, 2014

    Only in Dominica they are slack like bringing
    People from Nigeria to put people at risk
    I Change my ticket from coming to creole

  7. peanut brain
    September 2, 2014

    This is very good news. We hope the Dominica authorities are doing the same thing. It would probably be a good idea if the whole of the Caribbean co-ordinate d and got a plan together. Look how fast Chikungunya spread throughout the Caribbean we can’t afford Ebola to come to the Caribbean at all! This actually should have been put in place before now!! We are in God’s hands so let us hope that he protects us here in the Caribbean.

  8. Donald Duck
    September 2, 2014

    Take a page from St. Lucia’s book Dominica. Less talk more action.

  9. Natural Living
    September 2, 2014

    Well it sure looks like St. Lucia has their together!

    One must ask, Mr CMO, with all these Nigerians at All Saints University, (not that I am trying to cause trouble for them, but purely as they are more likely to be traveling back and forth from Africa) what are you and your department “thinking” about putting in place for this country?!!!!

    When will we start looking like we have our shit together?!!!

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