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BAMP proposal

Doctors call for special Ebola screening unit to be set up in Babrados

The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) is preparing to put a proposal to the relevant authorities for an Ebola screening unit to be set up in Barbados.

BAMP President Dr Carlos Chase made this disclosure to Barbados TODAY last evening during an Ebola Preparedness Education and Simulation Session for doctors at the Errol Walrond Clinical Skills Building at the University of the West Indies.

BAMP President  Dr Carlos Chase

BAMP President Dr Carlos Chase

During the question and answer section of the session, some doctors voiced concern that neither they nor their offices were fully prepared to deal with any suspected Ebola cases.

A few of these practitioners suggested to Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John, who was present at the session organized by BAMP in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, that a screening facility, equipped with specially trained doctors and assistant staff, be included in the island’s Ebola response plans.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John

Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John

“Instead of everybody coming to the doctor or the polyclinic, it might be better to get a screening centre or a screening unit better suited for that purpose.

“They [doctors] don’t have the actual equipment in their offices now,” pointed out Dr Chase.

“As we saw in the demonstration, we need three people to put on the equipment, a separate room for dressing, a separate room for undressing. So that is why some doctors are concerned,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Dr St John informed the practitioners that the Ministry was not expecting doctors’ offices to be turned into screening facilities. However, she said they must be prepared in case “someone self selects and goes to one of your facilities because that is what they are accustomed doing”.

“They are accustomed to coming to you for everything, so they may not be thinking, ‘it is Ebola’.

“We are trying to prepare you, not to be the screening facilities, but in case someone slips through, we are trying our best that everyone is on the same page,” she said.

The educational session highlighted the identification, notification and isolation of suspected Ebola cases, key aspects of personal protection, demonstration of personal protective equipment use and decontamination of an area with a suspected case.

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