PRESS RELEASE – The five member delegation from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) who were on island from November 19th for a two day assessment of the National Ebola Plan and the state of readiness of St. Lucia presented the results and recommendation of their assessment to the Ebola Steering Committee of the Ministry of Health on Friday November 21st, 2014.
During the visit the team met with Ministry of Health Officials, assessed the ministry’s plans and processes, visited hospitals, the Gros Islent Polyclinic and ports of entry.
The Team also met with some non-health stakeholders to get feedback on some of their process and protocols in reference to Ebola. The visiting team also conducted specialized training for staff of the Ministry of Health aimed at increasing their state of prepareness.
Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, Senior Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health is a member of the Ebola Steering Committee.
“We were quite please from the results of that assessment that the Ministry of Health is on target in terms of the National Ebola Plan. A few recommendations were also made in terms of working on some of our gaps, for example the waste management at allot of our facilities, they indicated was one of the gaps we need to work on but they have also indicated they will be giving us support in terms of ensuring safe waste management at some of our facilities.”
“They have also agreed to continue working with us in terms of the training of some of our health and non-health stakeholders and also in terms of working with us to continue to improve on the rest of the gaps. They are also working with us in terms of our communications messages, strengthening our surveillance systems as well.” Belmar noted.
St. Lucia, Dr. Belmar indicated, had been working towards its state of readiness for Ebola by following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States which were adapted for the Eastern Caribbean. The PAHO/CARPHA Team was headed by Ms. Lealou Reballos, Specialist for Disater Risk Reduction at PAHO based in Barbados.