The inter-country support team for East and Southern Africa recently held a 3-day orientation workshop for eight unaffected Ebola countries, namely Eritrea, The Gambia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan and Swaziland. As part of The World Health Organization’s continuous response to efforts of combating the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
The workshop which was held at the Rainbow Towers in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 16-18 September 2014 was attended by over thirty participants comprising officials from the Gambia’s Ministry of Health and the WHO country office’s focal person for Emergency Preparedness and Response from the invited eight countries.
The objective of the workshop, amongst others, is to update participants on the outbreak of the highly contagious disease, as well as orient them on the available tools, guidelines and strategies for the prevention and control of the virus. Modou Njai, the director of Health Promotions and Education, under the Health ministry who was a participant at the workshop said it was very important for the eight unaffected countries, adding that it provided the opportunity to review current country preparedness and response planning in line with recent WHO recommendations on the disease. During the meeting, presentations were made on key areas of Ebola preparedness and response, and experience had been shared by consultants, who supported operations in the affected countries.
While noting that all the eight unaffected countries had presented the status of EPR in their respective countries, he said, they also revised the existing country planning, based on information and guidance received during the workshop. Some of the recommendations made during the three-day meeting, Njai added, is to ensure that all relevant Ebola disease related technical resources, are made available to countries for dissemination and use in EVD preparedness. He then noted that it was recommended that countries urgently strengthen the full implementation of International Health Regulatory (IHR) 2005, with active continuous support from the WHO.