WHO, MoH train medics on Ebola response in Yei, Morobo
The national ministry of health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday conducted a training programme for responding to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Morobo and Yei River counties in Central Equatoria State.
The exercise came as a mitigation measure announced last week following a suspected Ebola case that was detected in Yambio, Western Equatoria State last week.
MoH and WHO revealed the exercise in a statement issued yesterday, saying it included several medics roped in the line of response to the scare.
‘‘WHO supported the Ministry of Health in deploying a multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, clinicians, infection prevention and control (IPC) officers, and risk communication experts to Morobo and Yei River counties of Central Equatoria State to strengthen coordination, surveillance, IPC, and risk communication activities for prevention, detection, investigation, and response to a threat of the cross-border spread of the EVD outbreak,’’ their statement noted partly.
It further noted that ‘‘the team implemented several EVD outbreak preparedness priority activities, including reactivating the emergency response coordinating taskforce, reconstituting, and training the county rapid response teams, conducting risk communication, social mobilisation and community engagement activities, and galvanizing community support for prevention’’.
The exercise entailed the visit to the healthcare facilities to up the detection of the cases.
‘‘The exercise is aimed at enhancing rapid response teams’ operational readiness by familiarizing participants with the EVD Standard Operating Procedures on rapid response team activation, deployment, and field investigation procedures. It also provided participants with an opportunity to evaluate current capabilities and resources for prompt deployment in response to any suspected EVD case,’’ the note noted.
Mr Yona Kenyi, State Surveillance Officer, Central Equatoria State Ministry of Health, said the ongoing EVD transmission in DRC puts South Sudan at risk and we must remain vigilant and prepared to respond to any potential EVD case.
“Although no case of Ebola has been confirmed in South Sudan, one suspect case of Ebola has been investigated from Yambio and tested negative for Ebola and Marburg virus following tests in the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL),” said Mr Yona.
“We must start working together with partners, mobilise necessary resources and remain ready to detect, report, investigate and respond to any suspected cases and deaths”.
Dr Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO Representative for South Sudan, said, “WHO has started developing a response plan and mobilizing resources to ensure that required preparedness and readiness priority activities are implemented.”.
“This week, WHO replenished the Ministry of Health’s stock of Ebola test kits in the NPHL, thus enhancing the country’s readiness for Ebola confirmation”
Last week, Mabior Kiir, Chief of Planning for the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, told The City Review that the victims were located in the city of Kabo. They were believed to have travelled to the Central African Republic.
Mabior also revealed that there was a plan in place to educate health workers about the response, particularly in counties identified as potential risk areas.
“As of now, there is an ongoing training for the Rapid Response Team in Yei and Torit, to respond in case of any situation in the country and the risk communication as one of the pillars is doing well in Yei, Morobo and Yambio.”
“There is a scale of risk communication to raise awareness in the community about the risk of EVD in the neighbouring countries,” he explained.