VSA meets with SMMC on Ebola Preparedness Plan

POSTED: 11/5/14 9:41 AM

St. Maarten – A live demonstration on how the health care workers at the SMMC are being trained to handle patients admitted with highly contagious diseases, particularly in this case for ebola, was done during a meeting between the VSA and the SMMC to discuss the latters’ ebola preparedness plans.

The presentation was done under the supervision of the Infection Control Practitioner, and nurses Glenda Severin, Damali Bryson and Shanna Holaman gave the presentation. CDC guidelines and International Health Regulations are being used to establish the necessary protocols that will be used to guide the isolation, care and treatment procedures.

At the meeting SMMC gave an extensive overview on the protective equipment they currently have in-house and what needs to be acquired.  An update was also given as to the area within the hospital designated as the isolation unit and the necessary upgrades needed to further prepare that isolation unit.

The Ministry of VSA is working together with all key stakeholders to ensure that St. Maarten is able to respond in a professional manner in the event ebola should be detected locally, according to Dr. Virginia Asin, department head of the Collective Prevention Services.

The meeting was held to share ideas and discuss a coordinated response. “The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) along with all key stakeholders have taken a rigorous pro-active approach in order to ensure that St. Maarten will be prepared to respond in the event a suspected or confirmed Ebola patient surfaces in the area”, said Minister of Public Health Cornelius de Weever. CDC guidelines and International Health Regulations are being used to establish the necessary protocols that will be used to guide the isolation, care and treatment procedures.

In the case of several ebola patients on island, SMMC is looking into how the isolation unit can be expanded or what would be the contingency plan. Future meetings with the French side and Social & Health Insurance (SZV) will provide more answers to this challenge.

A key preventative measure that came out of the meeting was the request for the public at large to be aware of procedures in case they think that they may have contracted ebola. SMMC and Government are requesting that all persons who suspect that they may have ebola should first call SMMC to notify them that you will be coming. This will allow the hospital to prepare for your arrival and ensure proper care and treatment as well as protect others, particularly the health care workers who are most vulnerable for transmission from an ebola patient.

 

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