Health dept gears up to tackle Ebola, starts training doctors?

  • Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 30, 2014 00:10 IST

The state health department will conduct surprise checks at three airports in the state to see whether screening for Ebola patients is being conducted according to the guidelines laid down by the Union health ministry.

So far 218 passengers who had come in contact with Ebola affected patients before coming to Maharashtra have been declared ‘fit’ by the health department, which was monitoring them for Ebola symptoms for a span of 30 days.

“A team of senior doctors will be conducting surprise checks at the airports and will also check whether the medical staff screening the passengers is following all precautions as required,” said Dr Satish Pawar, director, state health department.

The health department will also roll out a training programme for medical professionals on Ebola preparedness in Pune. A team of doctors and a senior nurse from Pune were designated by the health department for a training session in Delhi conducted by the union health ministry. “Our team of master trainers has arrived from Delhi.

They will now conduct a session for medical professionals from hospitals, which are identified for isolating any Ebola suspected patient,” said Sujata Saunik, state public health secretary. Starting next week, healthcare staff in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur will attend the training sessions, said state health officials.

To improve the monitoring of passengers at the airport who have not shown Ebola related symptoms but have the history of coming in contact with Ebola patients, officials have requested the airport authorities to preserve a photo copy of their passports.

“In many cases, we were unable to trace the passengers as their address or phone numbers were incorrect. We don’t want to miss any probable case,” added Dr Pawar. So far, five passengers who had a travel history to the countries affected with Ebola in West Africa were isolated in the state. None of them were found positive which has killed 4,922 people and affected around 10,141.

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