Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) has deputed health officials at Bacha Khan International Airport (BKIA), Peshawar to screen incoming passengers for Ebola virus, stated a handout issued by the KTH administration on Tuesday.
According to the handout, the decision was taken on the directives of the provincial health department to prevent the transmission of the deadly virus in the province.
“KTH Chief Executive Professor Dr Inayat Shah Roghani has briefed a team of experts to take preventive measures against Ebola and manage suspected cases on international flights at BKIA,” the handout stated.
It added that the hospital’s medical team will perform its duties in two shifts for a period of four days and will be headed by the medical superintendent of KTH Dr Muhammad Ali.
The statement further said that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be responsible for transporting suspected Ebola patients from the airport to the hospital.
Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) will be responsible for providing standard operating procedures to health officials who will manage suspected cases. The authority will also provide guidelines for screening and treatment of such patients, it added.
Last week, the provincial health department chalked out a plan and issued directives to all district level health authorities to prevent any possible Ebola virus outbreak in the province.
During a meeting chaired by Health Secretary Dr Aftab Durrani, it was decided that isolation wards for potential Ebola patients would be set up in all three tertiary healthcare centres of Peshawar. Moreover, airport authorities were also directed to establish a special counter to monitor people entering the country.
Although no cases of Ebola have surfaced in the country yet, preventive measures to deal with any patient exhibiting symptoms are being put into place. Counters have been established at airports in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to screen passengers coming from Gulf and African countries which have been most affected by the outbreak, namely Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2014.