The Dominican Air Force Prepares to Prevent the Spread of Ebola

The Dominican Air Force Prepares to Prevent the Spread of Ebola

By Dialogo
December 02, 2014




The Dominican Air Force mobilized a rapid response to a simulated spread of the deadly Ebola virus into the country during a training exercise on November 7.

In the drill, an infected individual entered the country at the Las Americas International Airport. The Air Force responded quickly to protect the civilian population and provide appropriate medical care to the patient, all in coordination with two civilian agencies -- the Specialized Airport and Civil Aviation Security Corps (CESAC) and the Civil Defense, Immigration and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AMET).

The goal of the drill was “to review and evaluate procedures for identification, isolation, transportation and handling of patients suspected of having Ebola,” said Dr. Jorge Marte Baez, the country’s national coordinator for Ebola response.

About 70 medical personnel, who had trained for the drill for 25 days, participated in the exercise. As of November 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) had documented more than 16,000 cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, with about 6,900 deaths. There have been no confirmed cases in Latin America.

Responding to an infected ‘patient’


The training exercise began at 10:00 am when the immigration area of Las Americas International Airport assisted a passenger from Sierra Leone, Africa, who was showing symptoms of the virus-- typically a high fever, headache, and sore throat.

Once they realized they were dealing with a possible case of Ebola, airport and health authorities immediately activated a predetermined procedure applied at airports and seaports to isolate those individuals who show symptoms of the disease. Wearing protective gear and using the appropriate safety measures, members of AMET transferred the ailing man to the Simulation Training Center for Ebola and Infectious Diseases at the Dr. Ramón de Lara Military Hospital, located in the San Isidro Air Base, east of the capital. There, doctors and nurses who are trained to treat Ebola, staff members from the Ministry of Public Health, and FARD officers followed protocols to provide the appropriate medical care.

FARD pilot, Maj. Gen. Elvis M. Féliz Pérez, discussed the patient’s condition and the measures needed to keep the civilian population safe with Col. Ramon H. Artiles Santamaría, director of the Military Hospital.

A well-prepared military hospital


The Military Hospital is an advanced health center with the technological resources to assist patients infected with Ebola, according to Daniel Pou, a researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences.

The simulated exercise lasted about four and a half hours, and was evaluated by representatives from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the WHO, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. They verified that hospital personnel followed established international procedures for treating patients with Ebola.

The Dominican Republic has “mounted an isolation area and an amazing training center," said Monica Guardo, a special representative of WHO/PAHO.

“This format matches the international protocol and records the weaknesses and areas for improvement, a process in which the injured party is usually the health personnel, including doctors and nurses who have died,” Marte said to Dominican digital newspaper El Día
.

Military doctors would play a crucial role if a patient with Ebola were to enter the country.

“The experience that military doctors have in the area of (disease) prevention and protecting public health is crucial,” according to Pou.

As a consequence of the exercise, medical authorities have developed several recommendations to prepare for a real case of Ebola, such as increasing the amount of protective equipment available for doctors and nurses who treat patients infected with the deadly virus.

Preventing the spread of Ebola


Military and civilian medical personnel have been training to prepare for a possible case of Ebola for weeks.

On October 26, for example, the Ministry of Health provided Ebola prevention training to doctors and nurses in hospitals and private clinics. The training was also provided to medical personnel working at seaports, airports, and border crossings; regional health directors; epidemiologists; and directors of the regional headquarters of the Dominican Medical College.

On October 10, the FARD medical community discussed the best ways to diagnose and treat patients infected with the deadly virus during the conference “Management and Protocols of Ebola.” Medical personnel at the conference also discussed how to identify Ebola symptoms and the safest methods to transport people infected with the virus. The conference was held at the Military Hospital.

Regional training to fight Ebola


In addition to the efforts of the Dominican Republic’s medical community, PAHO is training doctors and nurses in Latin American countries in the clinical management of Ebola from December 1-December 11, Notimex
reported. Workshops for the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago will take place in Antigua and Barbuda from December 1-3. Professionals from the remaining Latin American countries will attend workshops from December 3-11 in Chile.

Doctors and nurses were selected for this training based on their medical expertise, teaching experience and commitment to serve. Health staffs will be prepared to detect early cases of Ebola that may arise, offer treatment and prevent the spread of the disease. They could also be mobilized by WHO/PAHO to support the clinical response and control of outbreaks in any country in the region affected by Ebola, according to Notimex
.



The Dominican Air Force mobilized a rapid response to a simulated spread of the deadly Ebola virus into the country during a training exercise on November 7.

In the drill, an infected individual entered the country at the Las Americas International Airport. The Air Force responded quickly to protect the civilian population and provide appropriate medical care to the patient, all in coordination with two civilian agencies -- the Specialized Airport and Civil Aviation Security Corps (CESAC) and the Civil Defense, Immigration and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AMET).

The goal of the drill was “to review and evaluate procedures for identification, isolation, transportation and handling of patients suspected of having Ebola,” said Dr. Jorge Marte Baez, the country’s national coordinator for Ebola response.

About 70 medical personnel, who had trained for the drill for 25 days, participated in the exercise. As of November 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) had documented more than 16,000 cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, with about 6,900 deaths. There have been no confirmed cases in Latin America.

Responding to an infected ‘patient’


The training exercise began at 10:00 am when the immigration area of Las Americas International Airport assisted a passenger from Sierra Leone, Africa, who was showing symptoms of the virus-- typically a high fever, headache, and sore throat.

Once they realized they were dealing with a possible case of Ebola, airport and health authorities immediately activated a predetermined procedure applied at airports and seaports to isolate those individuals who show symptoms of the disease. Wearing protective gear and using the appropriate safety measures, members of AMET transferred the ailing man to the Simulation Training Center for Ebola and Infectious Diseases at the Dr. Ramón de Lara Military Hospital, located in the San Isidro Air Base, east of the capital. There, doctors and nurses who are trained to treat Ebola, staff members from the Ministry of Public Health, and FARD officers followed protocols to provide the appropriate medical care.

FARD pilot, Maj. Gen. Elvis M. Féliz Pérez, discussed the patient’s condition and the measures needed to keep the civilian population safe with Col. Ramon H. Artiles Santamaría, director of the Military Hospital.

A well-prepared military hospital


The Military Hospital is an advanced health center with the technological resources to assist patients infected with Ebola, according to Daniel Pou, a researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences.

The simulated exercise lasted about four and a half hours, and was evaluated by representatives from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the WHO, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. They verified that hospital personnel followed established international procedures for treating patients with Ebola.

The Dominican Republic has “mounted an isolation area and an amazing training center," said Monica Guardo, a special representative of WHO/PAHO.

“This format matches the international protocol and records the weaknesses and areas for improvement, a process in which the injured party is usually the health personnel, including doctors and nurses who have died,” Marte said to Dominican digital newspaper El Día
.

Military doctors would play a crucial role if a patient with Ebola were to enter the country.

“The experience that military doctors have in the area of (disease) prevention and protecting public health is crucial,” according to Pou.

As a consequence of the exercise, medical authorities have developed several recommendations to prepare for a real case of Ebola, such as increasing the amount of protective equipment available for doctors and nurses who treat patients infected with the deadly virus.

Preventing the spread of Ebola


Military and civilian medical personnel have been training to prepare for a possible case of Ebola for weeks.

On October 26, for example, the Ministry of Health provided Ebola prevention training to doctors and nurses in hospitals and private clinics. The training was also provided to medical personnel working at seaports, airports, and border crossings; regional health directors; epidemiologists; and directors of the regional headquarters of the Dominican Medical College.

On October 10, the FARD medical community discussed the best ways to diagnose and treat patients infected with the deadly virus during the conference “Management and Protocols of Ebola.” Medical personnel at the conference also discussed how to identify Ebola symptoms and the safest methods to transport people infected with the virus. The conference was held at the Military Hospital.

Regional training to fight Ebola


In addition to the efforts of the Dominican Republic’s medical community, PAHO is training doctors and nurses in Latin American countries in the clinical management of Ebola from December 1-December 11, Notimex
reported. Workshops for the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago will take place in Antigua and Barbuda from December 1-3. Professionals from the remaining Latin American countries will attend workshops from December 3-11 in Chile.

Doctors and nurses were selected for this training based on their medical expertise, teaching experience and commitment to serve. Health staffs will be prepared to detect early cases of Ebola that may arise, offer treatment and prevent the spread of the disease. They could also be mobilized by WHO/PAHO to support the clinical response and control of outbreaks in any country in the region affected by Ebola, according to Notimex
.
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