Eight Rwandan hospitals to undertake clinical drills on Ebola preparedness

A health work uses a thermometer to test for possible Ebola symptoms on passengers from Uganda to Rwanda at Gatuna Border in May 27, 2019. Emmanuel Kwizera.

The Ministry of Health is undertaking clinical drills to assess the preparedness of medics at different public hospitals in high risk areas as far as Ebola response is concerned.

A statement from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre said that the drills started Monday and will run through August 9 at eight district hospitals, engaging medics who form “the rapid response team.”

The objective is to assess their ability for prevention and response to the disease; as they will also exploit the opportunity to polish the skills they have been equipped with since last year.

The hospitals to take part are Butaro, in Burera District Byumba in Gicumbi District, Kibuye in Karongi District, Ruhengeri in Musanze District, Nyagatare in Nyagatare District, Gisenyi in Ruvavu District, Gihundwe in Rusizi District, and Murunda in Rutsiro District.

“This follows several trainings for the rapid response team. It is actually one of the continuous activities that we are doing for readiness in order to see how far we are with the preparations against Ebola, and look out if is there anything we can improve,” said Mallick Kayumba, the Head of Rwanda Health Communication Centre.

The drills will be around infection control, basic patient care, and patient movement through the health facilities.

“They keep doing some practices to make sure that they master what they have to do so that in case we have an Ebola case, it doesn’t spread, and the victim gets treated quickly,” he added.

The drills will also cover the skills of wearing of protective equipment, hand hygiene, isolation and disposal of waste, the correct use of chlorine sprayers (chlorine is sprayed on items to kill Ebola viruses), among others.

Over 1,600 people have died from the virus since the current outbreak started in DR Congo in August 2018 - more than two thirds of those who had contracted the virus.

Three cases of the epidemic were reported in Uganda in June, but after the completion of the recommended 42 days without any new Ebola case, the World Health Organisation declared the country Ebola free.

Rwanda has never registered an Ebola case.

The World Health Organization this month declared the Ebola crisis in the DR Congo a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), urging for more concerted international effort to contain the virus.

Rwanda has taken a number of measures in an effort to prevent the epidemic from entering its territory.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week commended Rwanda on its ongoing Ebola preparedness efforts and confirmed that no cases of Ebola had been reported in the country to date.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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