by Tokana Hasavi – EM TV, Port Moresby
A training session on containing Ebola was spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) today at the Bluff Inn at 17 Mile outside of Port Moresby.
Local medical officials in the field of Epidemiology were given first hand skills in wearing personal protective equipment, along with a systematic procedure to follow in treating suspected cases.
WHO has maintained that the chances of Ebola being transmitted to PNG are extremely low but prevention is always better than cure.
The training is part of a 6 month program that has been running for two years on how to efficiently contain disease outbreaks in PNG – it concludes on Friday with the graduation of participants. There was emphasis on the careful application of the personal protective equipment, sterilisation and removal of gear.
Given the fact that Indonesia, which PNG shares a porous land border with, doesn’t have any suspected cases and no direct shipping routes to West Africa, PNG’s chances remain extremely low but the training provides an avenue to better educate and equip local health officers for other potential health crises.
A participant, Rosheila Dagina from the National Health Department, said the training session should become a long-term sustainable program. She also stressed that her department should be training in raising the low number of doctors in PNG’s rural population, who make up 85 per cent of the total population.
The training also goes hand in hand with the detection facility that will be built at the Jackson’s International Airport.
The Health Department confirmed this afternoon that the proposed detection facility has not yet occurred because the National Airports Corporation hasn’t confirmed a location due to the current renovations the international terminal is undergoing.