Kinshasa, DRC 30 August 2018- The African Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (AfricaCDC) has conducted a pre deployment orientation and preparation training workshop for health care workers to be deployed to North Kivu and Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to help international efforts to fight the current outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease.
The Congolese health workers, numbering 15, are drawn from the DRC. Many of them are veterans who have served in previous outbreaks, such as the Ebola crisis in three West African countries from 2014-2016. They will be deployed in the coming few days to join a contingent of 20 that left Kinshasa for the affected zones on the 24th of August. Among them are epidemiologists, anthropologists, communication experts, medical doctors, logisticians and laboratory scientists
The training workshop was conducted by a crew of African Union Commission subject matter specialists who are in the DRC to, among other things, recruit the volunteers. Representing the Africa CDC, Epidemiologist Mr. Donewell Bangure welcomed the health workers, thanked them for their dedication to the cause of safeguarding Africa’s health and outlined the mandate of the Africa CDC. Head of AU medical services, Dr Naftal Kilenga made a presentation on the medical side. Head of Communication, Mrs Wynne Musabayana made a presentation on communication, including reputation building. Mr. Emmanuel Niragira presented on human resources and insurance. Colonel Vincent Nicaise discussed security issues. All the presentations were followed up by question and answer sessions. The government of the DRC was represented by the Director of Surveillance in the ministry of health, Dr Leopold Lubula who took the health workers through their functions and the government’s expectations of them.
As with other responders, the Africa CDC Mission in DR Congo is working closely with and under the coordination of the country’s Ministry of Health. Based on the high-level discussions with the Minister of Health held earlier this year, and understanding the needs and gaps of the response, the Africa CDC identified and agreed with the ministry, to support the following response pillars:
• Central Coordination
• Surveillance, contact tracing, vaccination.
• Laboratory testing and network. In July, the AfricaCDC supported the government of DRC with six GeneXpert machines and 3000 cartridges and swabs for laboratory confirmatory testing.
• Workforce development- Earlier this year, the AfricaCDC conducted capacity building programmes that benefitted over 300 experts, on surveillance, laboratory diagnosis of the Ebola Virus Disease, ports of entry and infection, prevention and control (IPC). Participants were drawn from the country’s Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Biomedical Research. Capacity building efforts will continue as the health workers interact with their counterparts on the ground.
• Transport and equipment supply
From 2014-2016, the African Union’s intervention in the Ebola epidemic in three affected member states helped stop the spread of the disease, after sending in nearly 900 African health workers.
For more information:
Wynne Musabayana | Head of Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: MusabayanaW@africa-union.org
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Website: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
For further information: Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Website: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
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