The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has organized an intensive training programme to adequately prepare its personnel to efficiently handle any suspected Ebola emergency.
Professor Ahmed N. Zacharia, the Chief Executive Officer, said they did not want to be overtaken by events, hence, the move to develop and strengthen the emergency care systems.
The two-day training workshop held in Kumasi was attended by 113 emergency medical technicians, regional coordinators, instructors and paramedics.
The workshop provided the platform to update them on the current situation of the epidemic in the West African Sub-region, described as the worst seen, in terms of scale and spread.
They were exposed to skills for managing suspected cases being transited to health facilities and how to avoid catching the deadly haemorrhagic viral fever.
Prof Zacharia said personnel of the service would need to be more pragmatic and alert, adding that, prevention had always been the solution in the health care delivery system. “It has always proven to be effective and cheaper,” he stressed.
It was important, he said, to scale up the preparation of the emergency service response mechanisms since long distance travellers infected could be incubating the disease and only develop symptoms after arrival.
He said health workers at all levels should be well informed and aided to have better understanding of the mode of transmission and the type of protocol the country had developed, or developing to meet response requirements
He made reference to Uganda, where stringent preventive initiatives with the support of the United States (US) Government through training of local health workers to recognize the virus stopped the spread of the deadly disease in 2011.
An Ebola outbreak in Uganda was held in check after just a single case, he said, encouraging that Ghana could learn from that.
Prof Zacharia said the nation could not take chances and must act to strengthen its border controls, blaming the spread of the disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on cross-border movements.
Dr Augustine Sagoe, a Biomedical Scientist and a facilitator, said so far, 81 ambulance technicians had died from Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
He advised them to make sure they wore protective gear to keep themselves safe.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).1
As the infection progresses, patients experience severe internal bleeding with blood leaking out of their mouth, eyes, ears and the vessels.
From the time of infection, the incubation period is two to 21 days.
Ebola cannot spread through the air like flu. It is fragile in nature so can be checked with soap solution, detergents and disinfectants.
Getting an infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, saliva, sweat, and semen.
The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically.
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