THS assists Philippines prepare for Ebola

Sunday, 2 November, 2014

Tropical Health Solutions is assisting the Philippine Department of Health (DoH) to be ready to control Ebola. I have had the great opportunity to work with the Philippine Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) to help the DoH prepare and deliver a training workshop Training in Hospital Management of Ebola Virus Disease. The goal of this workshop is to train doctors and nurses working in hospitals and clinics in the Philippines to detect and isolate cases of Ebola rapidly and safely. Philippines has 10 million residents working overseas and an estimated 5,000 working in West Africa. With Christmas coming many of the overseas workers will return home. Being prepared for Ebola is essential.

The workshop combines theory and practice. It covers the basics on Ebola viruses, transmission, Ebola virus disease (EVD), epidemiology, and the current status of the West African outbreak. Ebola Reston is discussed in detail since this is a virus endemic in the Philippines. Fortunately it appears to be non-pathogenic to people. Infection control has a prominent place in the workshop. Control strategies, including screening and triage, quarantine, isolation and contact tracing, are discussed. Paticipants are trained in the use of the Interim Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Ebola virus Disease, a document produced by the DoH.

Practical sessions include donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) and using hospital plans to identify and design areas for holding suspect EVD and confirmed cases.

The first workshop was held in Manila at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on 28-30 October 2014. This workshop was attended by respresentatives of all 21 regional hospitals. The second workshop is for private hospitals and will be held 4-6 November 2014.

Image. With large numbers of participants teaching the basics of donning and doffing PPE is a challenge. Here participants are taking in unison through the donning process and have been asked to show that they all have on outer gloves. Double gloving is now routine for Ebola PPE.

Posted by Rick Speare