Ebola Readiness Working Group Established

(ZIZ News) — As part of the national response to international Ebola concerns the government has established a St. Kitts-Nevis Ebola Readiness Working Group.

The group is a sub-section of the St. Kitts Nevis National Disaster Mitigation Council.

The council met on Tuesday at the National Emergency Management Agency headquarters to discuss plans to coordinate Ebola preparedness and response in collaboration with the Ministry Of Health.

The Ebola Readiness Working Group comprises representation from the Mitigation Council, namely health, the St. Christopher Air and Seaport Authority, NEMA, St. Kitts Nevis Information Services, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Finance, resident Pan American Health Organization Office, the Christian Council, and includes five persons from Nevis.

Acting Council Chairman, the Hon Patrice Nisbett said it is critical to get all partners involved in this effort

“The response has to be a multi-agency response and it is very important that the personnel from the different ministries, the different agencies, of the state are able to meet and have discussions on each agency’s response to this matter,” he said.

He said the working group is responsible for several readiness activities including developing a programme of activities focusing on training, education, and screening.

“And in this programme of activities what we’ve figured that they will do is to develop a schedule in relation to the training of first responders. How they are going to devise the various strategies to disseminate information to the general public so that the general public can be educated on the issue. Also, information in relation to screening,” he said.

He also noted a practical component to the readiness activities.

“And we also thought it was very important…part of that programme of activities, to possible schedule a simulation exercise so that those who are trained in this area can be given the opportunity to test what they would’ve learned and experienced during the training exercise,” he said.

Nisbett said the group will also develop a draft National Ebola Contingency Plan that addresses preparedness, response and recovery, using the previous National Pandemic Plans as reference documents.

The group will report to cabinet over the next few weeks to outline its progress.

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