The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry of Health, has started a five-day training for 29 emergency responders from five African countries. The training scheduled for August 15-19, 2022 at the Commonwealth Resort Hotel Munyonyo aims to build regional capacity to respond to the unpredictable nature of viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in the region.
Funded by WHO, the participants come from Uganda, Zambia, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania and they will be trained using the recently updated manual on the management of viral haemorrhagic fevers, which includes the use of approved drugs.
“It is essential that health workers are well informed about the revised management of viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF) for future epidemics, in order to save lives and appropriately reduce transmission through adequate and appropriate control. infections,” said Dr. Paska Apiyo, Consultant Physician at Gulu. Regional Reference Hospital.
In his opening remarks, the Incident Manager of the WHO Country Office in Uganda, Dr Charles Njuguna, said that “effective preparedness for unpredictable outbreaks of viral haemorrhagic fevers is crucial for rapid response to these diseases, which have caused catastrophic loss of life and other resources in the region. »
One of the recent viral hemorrhagic fevers in the region was the Ebola outbreak declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on April 23, 2022, which ended three months later with four confirmed cases and one probable case, all of whom died. .
Operational preparedness for imminent risks is part of the broader context of emergency preparedness and the need for countries to build longer-term capacity to manage public health events, including viral haemorrhagic fevers ( FHV). Member States, with the support of WHO and partners, seek to invest more in long-term emergency preparedness capacity to be better prepared to manage future epidemics and other public health emergencies. . Along with case management preparedness, there is a need to protect frontline health workers in the country’s most at-risk districts through vaccination against Ebola virus disease (EVD), an initiative that the WHO is also suing.
“Proactive operational preparedness pays off by reducing the public health impact of emergencies, reducing the cost of response and recovery, and is a long-term investment in the health system’s ability to manage health emergencies in accordance to the International Health Regulations 2005.” pointed out Dr. Charles.
In addition, the establishment of temporary and/or permanent treatment centers is essential to meet the highly required safety criteria for healthcare workers and the community.
The Republic of Uganda, which has long been one of the epicentres of the Ebola epidemic, is well placed, given its existing structures for Ebola and other viral haemorrhagic fevers, to provide training for health professionals. health.
This training is part of WHO’s existing support to countries to prevent and combat endemic diseases and health emergencies such as yellow fever, malaria, monkeypox and disasters such as floods, famine and drought. .
Distributed by APO Group for the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
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