The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Friday that it will be conducting specialized training programs, in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Philippines, for health workers on how to detect and treat cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and prevent the spread of the disease in the country.
“After the successful National Ebola Summit held last Friday (October 10), we want to primarily increase the capacity of our health workers nationwide in responding to EVD, like what we did when SARS and H1N1 threatened the country a few years ago,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.
The training, starting Oct. 28 and every week thereafter, has been designed by the DOH and the WHO Philippines and will be jointly managed by both organizations. Expert trainers, such as experts in infectious diseases and EVD, have been recruited from within the Philippines and overseas.
“WHO Philippines is delighted to be working with the Department of Health to provide training on the detection and treatment of EVD and on how to prevent its spread here in the Philippines. The health workers trained will be essential for Philippine efforts to protect the country from the potential threat of the disease,” Dr. Julie Hall, WHO Representative for the Philippines, said.
The training will provide a deeper understanding of EVD, its transmission and epidemiology. It will also enhance the participants’ practical skills in particular areas (such as personal protection, security and safety). The knowledge and skills gained from the training is expected to increase the capacity of the national health system to prevent or respond if an imported case of EVD in the Philippines occurs.
An orientation will also be given on the geographical and cultural setting in West Africa to help provide background for all participants on why the disease has spread there and what has been done to bring it under control.
The training will be made available to three groups of participants coming from: 1) all DOH-referral hospitals; 2) private hospitals; and 3) local government hospitals. Participants from each hospital will be composed of the hospital’s infection control specialist, doctors, nurses, and medical technologists.
The training is being delivered using a mix of practical exercises and theoretical learning and will be based on standard WHO training on EVD. It will involve pre- and post-training examinations. In addition to the general training, some of the “classes” will be done by selected groups, for example, the clinical guidelines for the treatment of cases, the principles of outbreak control and response and logistics support.
“With all these preparations and with the assistance of international partners like the WHO, we are optimistic that we will be able to respond appropriately to EVD if it enters the country,” the Health chief said. PNA