Controlling Ebola: WHO advice forwarded to health ministry

WHO suggests the authorities begin by people’s travel history for risk assessment

News Desk November 30, 2014

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday presented a preparedness assessment report to tackle Ebola in 22-member states of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

The WHO is providing technical support in assessing the measures in place and appending gaps in relation to the countries’ capacity to respond to the arrival of Ebola-infected travellers, said a press release.

The Ebola Preparedness Assessment Mission, deployed last week in Pakistan, located six areas of concern with Ebola preparedness and provided recommendations to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C), the press release adds.

The mission suggested the authorities begin by people’s travel history for risk assessment. The third measure elaborates on how the government should work towards building capacity to confirm an Ebola diagnostic and follow-up the clinical evolution of an Ebola patient.

It further stated that the capacity to dispel false beliefs and misconceptions should be evidence-based.

Nine experts from WHO regional and national offices, Unicef Pakistan and from the health ministry conducted a five-day preparedness assessment mission in Islamabad, Punjab and Sindh.

The team performed site visits at three major international airports — Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore — the National Institute of Health, and the concerned hospital facilities in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.

The mission noted that a significant number of critical measures to protect Pakistan from a spread of Ebola are already in place.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2014.


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