The one of the most affected countries, Sierra Leone, a rapid response assessment, showed that those major health setbacks were to blame for casualties. The report theorized that one way to win this battle was to bridge gaps in the health system. It is common knowledge that the health system in many African countries is in shambles. Sierra Leone happens to be on that team. Lack of adequate, well trained and reachable personnel, inadequate personal protection gear and lack of adequate transport systems cost them in the war against Ebola
With coverage in Bombali, Moyamba, Port Loko, Pujehun, Tonkolili, and Western districts during October 15, 2014 the report was able to establish rapid assessment needs. They conducted surveys among the population that both the affected and those that werent. It was found that there was not much knowledge of the disease and its prevention measures. In the testing and diagnostic centers, the suspected cases were not given the treatment that they required. They were allowed to intermingle with the rest before testing and this could potentially lead to the spread. Without putting in place the correct human and health infrastructure to stop the virus, the efforts will be a futility. (Pathmanathan 2014)
It is a basic requirement that those who attend to patients must be themselves protected to avoid caregivers falling ill. Personal protection equipment is vital to the fight. The form of personal protection for the caregiver could a life or death affair. They need to avoid being contaminated by wearing gloves, shoe covers; face masks body masks and also an impermeable gown. This is per the world heath organization recommendations as per the advice by the centers for disease control.
There has been raging debate on if the health care providers should use powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) as opposed to not using it. There has also been contention on whether if the PAPR should be favored over the N-95 method. It has not been established that the Ebola virus is spread through air. The two devices are set to prevent droplet or airborne contamination.
The N-95 is noiseless 95 % filtration respirator. It doesnt need a power source. It allows the use of a stethoscope. The problem with this is that it allows for humidity build up and is heated prone. The PAPR, on the other hand, is a blower that allows proper air flow to the cartridge and face masks. The cartridge is chosen as per the disease being dealt with. It needs a constant power source and this may not be readily available in many African countries. The aim of this is to safeguard the health professional respiratory health. Mucosal contamination is a cause of Ebola spread and these gears are better placed to protect them. (Roberts 2014
Isolation is one of the most vital disease control mechanisms. The casualties require to be put in quarantine to avoid escalation of the disease spread. Quarantine areas require being highly functional units where those put in them able to access basic needs within a comfortable environment. For Ebola, this is no different. Isolation centers are a standard requirement. Despite Ebola being experienced in both urban and rural settings in the western African region, it was sad to see that many had problems accessing them.
Urban areas that have better transport systems make it easier for urbanites to access isolation centers as opposed to their rural counterparts. (Pathmanathan 2014) This has a counterproductive effect on contingency control. Every minute in disease control is critical. Ebola is highly communicable and needs to be urgently dealt with. Quarantine areas should be accessible to the people. There should also be handy transport network system between the centers and their localities. Suspected cases and reported cases can be dealt with promptly.
Isolation centers should also be equipped with the necessary tools to ensure they are effective and efficient. (Wells C 2015)They ought to have adequate water and medical supplies. In addition to these their waste disposal mechanisms should be top notch. The patients should not have to share sanitation facilities. This could cause exposure to different strains. Leading to possible mutation and reducing their chances of survival. They should come equipped with incinerators, for example, to ensure that contaminated waste can be annihilated. The baseline of these centers is that whatever goes in doesnt come out.
Compartmentalization is very important in these centers. Patients should be kept separately according to the level of their advancement stages. It would be improper to put those in recovery with the critically ill. The aim is to prevent re-exposure to the virus and cause possible medical resistance. Those who are dead should only be handled by the authorized individuals and morgues should be up to per with the guidelines. The availability of research on vaccination could be the much-needed breakthrough. The ongoing clinical trials give much hope. (Organisation 2015) Efficacies of the vaccines are tested as per the sensitivity. Ring vaccination where the vaccine offers both pre and post exposure protection. According to research done in Sierra Leone, they determined that a vaccine that could confer both the pre and post exposure could have prevented at least 477cases. In Liberia, a total of 107 cases could have been prevented. (Wells C 2015)
All the measures were taken; we should think about what happens when the outbreaks strike. The disaster management process is very crucial. Many people ad even government agencies do not know how to react when disaster strikes. This has been seen with so many diseases and even natural disasters. People in panic cannot work effectively. The governments needs to ensure that there are adequate manpower and financial resources to get through Ebola crisis. Preparedness starts with training and awareness on the issue being tackled. People should be educated too. There should also give medical supplies and infrastructural support to ensure that they can contain the outbreaks.
The measures put in place by WHO and CDC should be followed. Cutting corners will be counterproductive. We need to understand that they are in our best interests. Some of our beliefs such as burial rites have to be reviewed to avoid contamination if the person was indeed unwell. We need to be more hygienic and have better sanitation systems. This is a step in the right direction to an Ebola Free world.
It is important that all stakeholders come together to ensure the prevention and aversion of disease spread to the general population. All bodies like the World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control and health care professionals have to engage each other in such a way that they work hand in hand. I disease control it is necessary to ensure patients welfare is cared for as those of the health care providers.
Prevention and control are a collective responsibility of the global community. This is because when one of us is affected, the impact will be felt. In the last major outbreak, the economic position of many people was affected. With the grounding of commercial flights to the affected zones, many countries had their nationals stranded; others who were attending to business had to cancel. It was a major setback to everyone.
Multi-disciplinary and multi-sectorial cooperation will enable us to be better prepared to face such crisis in future and even possibly obliterate the problem.
BIBLIOGRAPHY griffin, Tamerra. "Buzz Feed news ." Buzz Feed news . august 04, 2014. http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinezwiebel/heres-how-many-people-have-died-from-ebola-so-far (accessed nov 01, 2015).
Organisation, Worlh Health. World on the verge of an effective Ebola vaccine . Geneva, july 31, 2015.
Pathmanathan, shani. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Weekly report, free town: MMWR, 2014.
roberts, vanessa. to papr or not to papr. 2014. file:///C:/Users/FELICOM-2/Downloads/edola4.pdf (accessed nov 01, 2015).
Wells C, Yamin D, Ndeffo-Mbah ML,. "Harnessing Case Isolation and Ring Vaccination to." PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases , 2015: 13.
Wikipedia. "EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE." wikipedia free encyclopedia. november 05, 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease (accessed november Wednesday, 2015).
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