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The Gambia intensifies preparedness against Ebola

By Momodou Faal
Special to from The Daily Observer

Ever since the deadly Ebola virus broke out in neighboring Guinea, the Gambian government through its Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and partners have been firm on their toes, and have been devising various strategies to prevent it from hitting the country.

As part of these strategies, the Ministry in collaboration with the U.N. system, through the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) recently organized a training for health workers and non-health workers on Ebola preparedness and response.

Organized at the conference hall of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in Bakau, the objective of the training was to inform, sensitize and educate health care workers on the Ebola virus. It was also aimed at building the capacity of trainers to conduct cascade training of health facility staff and field workers in a bid to increase their knowledge and skills on Ebola preparedness and response. The training had exposed health care workers on early detection and response to emergencies.

In his remarks at the occasion, the deputy permanent secretary technical at the Health Ministry, Dawda Ceesay, said The Gambia has registered steady progress in preparedness since the Ebola outbreak was reported in the West Africa region. He said the training on Ebola will be strengthened in the country so it can equip healthcare workers with the required information, knowledge and skills for early detection, investigation and response to the disease.

The WHO country representative, Dr. Charles Sagoe Moses, described the training as important for both the Ministry and his organization in their collective drive towards preventing it from attacking the country. The Ebola virus, formerly the Ebola Hemorrhagic fever, according to him, is a life-threatening disease, which kills up to nine out of 10 of its victims.

“Anyone can get it, but those at risk are the ones who are in direct contact with Ebola patients. Health workers during the course of treating and handling Ebola patients have themselves become victims. This is serious and a cause for concern,” he noted, hence the reasons for the training.

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