Ebola medical team now stationed at George Charles Airport; other ports of entry being considered

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Ebola medical team now stationed at George Charles Airport; other ports of entry being considered
George Charles Airport
George Charles Airport


PRESS RELEASE –
The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations continues its overall process of readiness to the global Ebola threat by strengthening port surveillance through the inclusion of nurses at the country’s main international airport, the Hewanorra International airport.

Such assistance is also being provided at the George F.L. Charles Airport. Similar arrangements are actively being considered for other ports of entry.

The employment of this strategy facilitates the identification and tracking of arriving passengers who may be at risk for exposure to the Ebola virus due to their travel history.

Ebola is a viral disease which is spread through direct contact with the secretions and body fluids of infected persons or animals. This disease is not endemic to St. Lucia and as such the risk of infection to general members of the public is low.

However, the possibility exists that the disease may be introduced into our island, from a traveler (national or non-national) who may have recently been to West Africa and who may have had contact with infected animals or persons during their stay in West Africa.

The Ministry of Health has put all health facilities on ‘Ebola alert’ and has commenced the training of health care workers in the management of the Ebola Virus. Isolation rooms have been identified in the relevant institutions and the necessary infection control measures have been instituted. Protocols have been developed in conjunction with other stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach in the event of a suspected case on the island.

The Ministry of Health has collaborated with the Saint Lucia Fire Service, Customs and Excise, Immigration, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority to facilitate the coordinated management of the Ebola threat to the island.

Ebola sensitization has been done for Customs and Excise in the north and south of the island. Other staff at both airports have been sensitized on the Ebola Virus by the Ministry of Health’s Outbreak and response teams.

The focal points of all of the medical schools and the hotels are working closely with the National Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in the surveillance of students and visitors arriving on the island. Such active surveillance will also be extended to religious institutions, other tertiary schools and other entities with frequent clients from countires affected by Ebola.

For purposes of an interview and further clarification, please contact the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Merlene Fredericks : 468-5308/2850128.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Fear as a result of ignorance. Are there any direct flights from ebola affected countries or any african country to st.lucia? I dont think so. So one or two africans decide to come here. They have how many flights to take before they get here. They would either pass through one or more airports before they get here. More likely via london. So you will believe that these africans were not screened before getting here. When the plane lands here i wonder if they will screen everyone coming off the plane including the pilots. So it seems the ebola team will do a better job here than the international teams in london and africa.

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    • it doesn't work like that. Don't be so complacent in relying on other countries. If they have SYMPTOMS then they can get picked up.

      It is a sloppy attitude like yours which allows mistakes to happen.

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  2. Contraction of the HIV virus is low risk. Does this mean that we should stop selling so many condoms? Low risk that we have fires everyday does this also mean that we can allow most fire officers on strike?

    The only real threat that St. Lucia faces is the threat from its politicians and officials with its misinformation. This may prove detrimental to the public health and public wealth. Think about that.

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  3. ummm...how many International flights land at George Charles....Is Guyana or Trinidad on Ebola alert....choops

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  4. believe the Media has allowed the Min of Health to get away with too many lies on the Ebola issue and would like one of you to carry out an investigation on the matter. It is about the health of the country and the Min of Health has shown that they are not trust worthy on this issue, when they declared, about 2 weeks ago, that the Ministry had everything in place for the Ebola virus importation. This was proven to be a lie, when the Customs Officers at Hewanorra threaten to pull back their services, if a doctor was not assigned to the airport.

    Up to Saturday 30th Aug. 2014 the immigration officers were ignorant about the importance and need for Port health at Hewanorra. During a discussion with the assigned nurse,(not a doctor) the officer in charge became very concerned and demanded that passengers from West Africa should not come to their counter before being examined by the nurse. The immigration officer had not been sensitized by the Min of Health. Not even the airline workers who are usually the first to board the aircraft and to mingle with passengers, had been sensitized by the Min of Health. We all know about ebola but not the threat and the means of transmission and the precautions to be taken when dealing with such passengers. Initially the Chief Medical Officer showed more concern about the million of dollars invested by the Min of Tourism than the health of the officers at the port.These are the truth and I am very concern about the lies that are coming from the Min. of Health on the issue. The Min of Health is not Proactive on the issue and believe they are reacting because St.Vincent and Dominica, who does not have an international airport is handling the issue better. They have shown that they are more concerned about their people more than the St Lucia Government do.

    This matter need investigated because it is not just about the immigration and customs officers or the Airline workers at the airport. It about the country, including you, who has a responsibility. I would hate to believe they lied again. This thing is scary.

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  5. Explain to me why there is a medical team at the smallest, regional based airport, but there isn't any at the larger, global based airport. Another example of Castries before Vieux fort, SMH

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  6. Why did that foolish mandarin think such action was not IMMEDIATELY necessary? What with, or what part of their anatomy do some of our officials think?

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  7. This thing they're saying about medical team for ebola...is ridiculous .what equipment do these regular nurses have and what special training have they been given to handle a case as dangerous as ebola.

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  8. A bunch of lies. Up to Saturday 30th Aug. 2014 the immigration officer were ignorant about the importance and need for Port health at Hewanorra. During a discussion with the assigned nurse, the officer in charge became very concerned and demanded that all passengers from West Africa should not come to their counter before being examined the nurse. They had not been sensitized by the Min of Health. Not even the airline workers who are usually the first to board the aircraft and to mingle with passengers, had been sensitized by the Min of Health. I am certain that they all knew about ebola but not the threat and the means of transmission. Initially the Chief Medical Officer showed more concern about the million of dollars invested by the Min of Tourism than the health of the officers at the port.These are the truth and I very concern about the lies that are coming from the Min. of Health on the issue. The Min of Health is not Proactive on the issue and believe they are reacting because St.Vincent and Dominica, who does not have an international airport is handling the issue better. They have shown that they are more concerned about their people more than the St Lucia Government.

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  9. Money you'll like, like that you'll should have not allow any Africans in saint lucia at all just so you'll want people to get sick and die what the hell again choops

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