The World Health Organization (WHO) www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) www.paho.org/ebola are mobilizing teams specialized in outbreak alerts and responses to help Latin America and the Caribbean prepare for any potential introduction of Ebola.
No cases of Ebola have been reported in Latin America or the Caribbean to date. However, “The risk of an imported case in the region is real,” reports Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO/WHO’s Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis.
PAHO/WHO has conducted a series of virtual and face-to-face training sessions on preparedness, risk communication and logistics as well as disseminated guidelines on infection control.
PAHO/WHO have also conducted training on the use of personal protective equipment, how to collect and manage samples of highly pathogenic agents, how to provide disease surveillance, how to adhere to laboratory procedures, and how to activate an Emergency Operations Center capable of coordinating a regional response.
These efforts are part of the new PAHO/WHO “Framework for Strengthening National Preparedness and Response” for Ebola virus disease in the Americas. The new framework will provides the basis for the Organization’s technical cooperation, response, and resource mobilization if Ebola is imported into the region.