Two Belizeans to receive training in clinical management of Ebola

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) will be offering workshop training to doctors and nurses from across the Caribbean and Latin America in the clinical management of Ebola. More than 30 countries, including Belize, will be benefiting from this free training to be held in Antigua and Barbuda and Chile. Representing Belize at the workshop will be Doctor Pedro Arriaga and Nurse Madona Vicente, who upon their return, will train other medical professionals in the country. The workshops are part of a series of PAHO/WHO actions intended to help countries strengthen their preparedness for potential cases of Ebola.

Dr Pedro Arriaga

Dr Pedro Arriaga

The workshops are scheduled to take place from December 1st to 3rd in Antigua and Barbuda for Caribbean participants including Belize, and on December 3rd to 5th and 9th to 11th in Chile, for participants from Latin America. Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO/WHO’s Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis, participants in any of the three workshops are expected to train other health professionals in their home countries upon their return, with the support of their regional PAHO/WHO agency. “The goal of the workshops is to strengthen the clinical response capacity of doctors and nurses who have been assigned to treat Ebola patients. After this training, we’ll have health staff who are better prepared to rapidly detect cases, isolate and treat them, and prevent the virus’s spread,” said Espinal.

Nurse Madona Vicente

Nurse Madona Vicente

During each three-day workshop, participants will learn about the history and epidemiology of the virus disease and how to detect, isolate, and manage suspected cases. The training will also cover diagnosis and clinical management, use of personal protective equipment, organization of specialized treatment units, and aspects of infection prevention and control. At the end of the workshop, trainees will receive a certificate of completion. In addition, some trainees will participate in specialized international teams that will provide clinical response and outbreak control to any country in the region that may experience an Ebola epidemic.
Trainees will include health professionals from Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay, among other countries. Participants were selected by their countries according to their professional medical and teaching experience, work in a national hospital, and willingness to serve as trainers in their own countries and support PAHO/WHO missions to other countries of the region.
PAHO/WHO has undertaken a series of actions to help its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean ensure they are able to detect, contain, and prevent local transmission of any imported case of Ebola.

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