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MoH holds workshop to raise Ebola awareness
September 3, 2014, 8:24 am

Health Ministry’s Infection Control and Sterilization Administration organized on Tuesday a workshop on how to raise awareness and to prevent the spreading of Ebola virus. Addressing the attendees, Director of Health Promotion Administration at the Ministry of Health Dr Abeer Al-Baho, said that the administration is keen to follow up the latest developments of viruses, including Ebola, and to implement precautious measures to prevent the spreading of the disease according to measures of World Health Organization (WHO).

She told KUNA that a number of doctors, nurses and health inspectors, including health experts from the private sector, were invited to attend the workshop, which is co-organized by the Infection Control and Sterilization Department and Health Promotion Administration. An awareness campaign on the deadly virus started a week earlier through publishing brochures and posters on infectious diseases and it will continue next Thursday for people who speak Arabic, Al-Baho added.

The workshop is divided into two sessions, the first session will be on Ebola virus and its history, while the other is on health promotion and health campaigns, Al-Baho said. She noted that the campaign will also focus on raising awareness of pilgrims who will perform pilgrimage this year. The session on Ebola virus will focus on infection prevention and infected cases handling measures , including forming a working group to follow up the developments, information, and statistics about the virus since it has been announced by WHO.

The administration is gearing up to re-publish the latest developments related to the virus from the WHO and will post them on their Twitter account soon, she added. Al-Baho explained that the administration was also aiming to establish a partnership with other sectors to raise awareness of viruses and diseases, including raising awareness of preventive measures and deployment of medical advice team to prevent infection from these infectious diseases.

“This workshop will first focus on measures taken by medical staff at hospitals and health centers through two sessions a day, one on Ebola virus and preventive measures and how to deal with suspected cases and confirmed cases, especially since the medical staff at risk of infection in the case of dealing with the infected cases,” Al-Baho said. She added the workshop invited Ebola technical committee members to speak about measures to prevent the spreading of the disease.

The campaign will also help raise awareness of symptoms and how to control the spread of infectious diseases, especially in the upcoming Hajj (pilgrimage) season, Al-Baho pointed out. At the beginning of the workshop, Head of the Epidemic Diseases Department at the Health Ministry Dr Musab Al-Saleh advised people to avoid traveling to affected countries, noting that all GCC countries are Ebola- free zone.

Al-Saleh added that the virus is spreading in countries such as Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. On the disease symptoms, he stated that within the first three days with the infected person starts suffering from high fever, weakness and severe muscle pain, headache and sore throat and reaches in some cases into internal or external bleeding. Other lecturers of the workshop that since its first discovery in 1976, Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness in humans and non-human primates like monkeys, gorillas, and Chimpanzees. Ebola virus spreads through animal to human and also through human to human. Since breaking out earlier this year, the epidemic has claimed 932 lives and infected more than 1,700 people across West Africa, according to the World Health Organisation.

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