Ebola. It's a hot topic. For now, Sierra Leone is still Ebola free but it may only be a matter of time. We need to prepare. Just in case.
At the Children's hospital we are not yet ready for a potential outbreak. Don't worry, we have starting preparing but we need to speed it up a notch. Yes, we have the case definitions up on the walls, but once the patients are identified, what next? It's time to allocate an isolation room, get it set up, train staff, ensure we have protective gear, etc. That's on the agenda for tomorrow.
Why am I involved?
Well, it's not in my job description, but it won't be in anyones. This is one of those situations in which everyone needs to pull together and that includes me. I would like to work with hospital staff to make sure the hospital is ready and people feel safe and confident. I won't be the one dealing with the cases, but I do want to make sure that those who do are well prepared.
If the hospital is not ready, it would be a disaster; that's what we need to avoid. So that means I spend some of my time doing various Ebola related things:
- Laminating and posting case definitions.
- Discussing a plan with the medical superintendent.
- Whatsapping numbers for surveillance officers in the district to house officers.
- Testing the Ebola hotline phone number.
- Attending an Ebola meeting at the Ministry with senior doctors
- And more will follow like attending the Ebola Task Force meetings, setting up the isolation area, possibly help with staff training but at least getting experienced people in to train, etc.
My prayer is that Ebola is contained and dealt with in Guinea and Liberia and that it never reaches Sierra Leone. But if it does, I pray we are ready.