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Workers begin Ebola training

Published: 
Friday, August 22, 2014

Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Dr Shehenaz Mohammed yesterday assured that health workers who had previously expressed fears of contracting the Ebola virus, have begun to expose themselves for training to prepare for any cases which may enter T&T. Speaking during a telephone interview yesterday, Mohammed said training sessions were held at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Centre (EWMSC), Mt Hope, on Monday and Tuesday for health workers who will be on the frontline in dealing with Ebola cases.

Responding to statements by Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan on Wednesday that health workers who refused to perform their duties out of fear of contracting the virus should get out of the system, Mohammed said the authority was able to address the fears and concerns expressed by workers at the sessions earlier this week. Describing the sessions as “well attended and successful,” Mohammed said: “Health workers are comfortable at this point in time and are getting themselves prepared to deal with any case that may come into the country.”

Adding that the extensive training sessions would continue for hospital staffers at EWMSC and Caura, she said it would also be expanded to include workers at all health centers.
A 12-bed triage area has been set up at the EWMSC, while two 24-bed wards have been set up at the Caura Hospital. Officials said three rooms also have been identified at the Intensive Care Unit at the EWMSC which would be used to isolate and quarantine individuals who may be suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus.

Mohammed said while the NCRHA currently had 250 protective kits in its possession, the ministry was acquiring more kits for distribution to staffers. The kits include gowns, rubber gloves and face masks to be worn by staff required to interact with arriving passengers. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) is also carrying out training exercises for officers from the Fire Services, Police Service and military, as well as ambulance attendants. These exercises are expected to end today.

In an interview last Sunday, ODPM’s chief executive officer Dr Stephen Ramroop said those specially trained officers would be sub-divided into teams, that would be at the ready to respond to any situation or “multi- hazard emergency.”

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