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Uruguayan Military Deploys Protocols to Care for Troops Returning from Regions Stricken with Ebola

Uruguayan Military Deploys Protocols to Care for Troops Returning from Regions Stricken with Ebola

By Dialogo
January 22, 2015




The Uruguayan Air Force (FAU) and the rest of the country’s Armed Forces are deploying new protocols to care for Military members who are returning from peacekeeping missions in regions where the deadly Ebola virus is a threat.

Under the protocols, Troops returning from Africa must undergo a medical exam, a personal interview, and a 21-day quarantine to ensure they are not infected with Ebola before being allowed into the general population. These procedures conform to the standards established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Uruguayan Army General Staff mandated training in these protocols for at least one physician and one nurse from each unit of the Armed Forces caring for Troops returning from missions in Africa, Defensa
reported on December 12.

That’s where visitors are most at risk of contracting Ebola. The Uruguayan authorities’ major concern is that a Soldier or civilian infected with the deadly virus may enter their country.

Protocols in the action manual state that FAU crew members are to notify air traffic controllers if they suspect a Soldier on their flight is infected with Ebola. Once the aircraft lands, Soldiers will meet the passenger at the airport, and an ambulance will take the individual to a private medical facility or the Military Hospital. There, the passenger will remain hospitalized until doctors determine whether he or she is infected. The Military Hospital has a special area for Soldiers returning from peacekeeping missions who may have contracted the virus.

FAU Captain Gustavo González represented the Air Force during a December training seminar conducted by the Uruguayan National School for Peacekeeping Operations (ENOPU), in cooperation with the U.S. Southern Command’s Surgeon General’s Office and the U.S. Defense Institute for Medical Operations.

Preparing to care for peacekeeping Troops


The FAU and the rest of the Armed Forces are prepared to care for peacekeeping Troops who are deployed overseas.

Uruguay participates in 12 peace missions with the United Nations, and is the largest contingent in the Congo, consisting of 1,000 troops. Some of those Troops will complete their current tours of duty in Congo and return to Uruguay in February and March.

Although Uruguayan Troop contingents are serving in areas far from the Ebola outbreak, the Military’s posture of preparedness is vital in order to prevent possible outbreaks.

As of early January, WHO (World Health Organization) had documented more than 20,000 Ebola cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with approximately 7,905 deaths, according to the outgoing chief of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury.

“Uruguay is prepared to face a contingency like that,” said Julián González, a professor at the political science unit at the University of the Republic of Uruguay (UDELAR). “When faced with any problem of this sort, it is always important for countries to prepare themselves and adopt prevention measures because the world is getting smaller every day. International cooperation is a security measure in the fight against outbreaks of any endemic disease.”

There have been no cases of Ebola in Latin America.

Protecting the civilian population


In addition to training how to treat Soldiers exposed to Ebola, the Uruguayan Military is also prepared to protect the civilian population.

For example, since September 2014, the Uruguayan Ministry of National Defense (MDN), working through the National Center for Higher Studies, has cooperated with the Ministry of Public Health (MPS) in a series of measures tailored to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

The Uruguayan government has also developed protocols for dealing with possible cases of Ebola at seaports and river ports throughout the country.

The plan calls for port authorities to isolate ships suspected of carrying someone infected with Ebola, after which medical authorities would transport the infected person to a healthcare center. The vessel would be released after being disinfected.



The Uruguayan Air Force (FAU) and the rest of the country’s Armed Forces are deploying new protocols to care for Military members who are returning from peacekeeping missions in regions where the deadly Ebola virus is a threat.

Under the protocols, Troops returning from Africa must undergo a medical exam, a personal interview, and a 21-day quarantine to ensure they are not infected with Ebola before being allowed into the general population. These procedures conform to the standards established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Uruguayan Army General Staff mandated training in these protocols for at least one physician and one nurse from each unit of the Armed Forces caring for Troops returning from missions in Africa, Defensa
reported on December 12.

That’s where visitors are most at risk of contracting Ebola. The Uruguayan authorities’ major concern is that a Soldier or civilian infected with the deadly virus may enter their country.

Protocols in the action manual state that FAU crew members are to notify air traffic controllers if they suspect a Soldier on their flight is infected with Ebola. Once the aircraft lands, Soldiers will meet the passenger at the airport, and an ambulance will take the individual to a private medical facility or the Military Hospital. There, the passenger will remain hospitalized until doctors determine whether he or she is infected. The Military Hospital has a special area for Soldiers returning from peacekeeping missions who may have contracted the virus.

FAU Captain Gustavo González represented the Air Force during a December training seminar conducted by the Uruguayan National School for Peacekeeping Operations (ENOPU), in cooperation with the U.S. Southern Command’s Surgeon General’s Office and the U.S. Defense Institute for Medical Operations.

Preparing to care for peacekeeping Troops


The FAU and the rest of the Armed Forces are prepared to care for peacekeeping Troops who are deployed overseas.

Uruguay participates in 12 peace missions with the United Nations, and is the largest contingent in the Congo, consisting of 1,000 troops. Some of those Troops will complete their current tours of duty in Congo and return to Uruguay in February and March.

Although Uruguayan Troop contingents are serving in areas far from the Ebola outbreak, the Military’s posture of preparedness is vital in order to prevent possible outbreaks.

As of early January, WHO (World Health Organization) had documented more than 20,000 Ebola cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with approximately 7,905 deaths, according to the outgoing chief of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury.

“Uruguay is prepared to face a contingency like that,” said Julián González, a professor at the political science unit at the University of the Republic of Uruguay (UDELAR). “When faced with any problem of this sort, it is always important for countries to prepare themselves and adopt prevention measures because the world is getting smaller every day. International cooperation is a security measure in the fight against outbreaks of any endemic disease.”

There have been no cases of Ebola in Latin America.

Protecting the civilian population


In addition to training how to treat Soldiers exposed to Ebola, the Uruguayan Military is also prepared to protect the civilian population.

For example, since September 2014, the Uruguayan Ministry of National Defense (MDN), working through the National Center for Higher Studies, has cooperated with the Ministry of Public Health (MPS) in a series of measures tailored to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

The Uruguayan government has also developed protocols for dealing with possible cases of Ebola at seaports and river ports throughout the country.

The plan calls for port authorities to isolate ships suspected of carrying someone infected with Ebola, after which medical authorities would transport the infected person to a healthcare center. The vessel would be released after being disinfected.
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