WHO mission completes Ebola assessment in Pak
The WHO has provided technical support to Pakistan to contain any outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the country already hit by the crippling polio disease.
Islamabad: The WHO has provided technical support to Pakistan to contain any outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the country already hit by the crippling polio disease.
The Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness Assessment Mission has completed its work and provided technical support to assess and respond to the eventual venue of a patient coming from countries hit by the virus, said WHO Country Head Michel Thieren.
The world body had earlier asked Pakistan to take precautionary measures to counter any possible case of Ebola in the country, where polio has become endemic.
Polio cases this year stand at a 15-year high of 265 in Pakistan. The disease, which can kill or paralyse a child within hours of infection, had been eradicated from everywhere else. Except for Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Ebola has sickened more than 16,000 people worldwide of whom nearly 7,000 have died, according to latest WHO figures.
The WHO team conducted a five-day preparedness assessment mission in Islamabad, Punjab and Sindh, according to Dawn.
The mission reviewed measures to be put in place in six areas of concern associated with Ebola preparedness, including entry at airports to track a passenger's contact and travel history, said Thieren.
Infection control or the capacity to contain contagion and protect anyone from being contaminated by the virus was also part of the assessment.
The team checked the laboratory to confirm facilities for Ebola diagnosis and follow-up on a patient, risk communication or capacity to dispel false beliefs and misconceptions with evidence-based and scientifically-grounded messaging, surveillance and contact tracking.
The mission visited Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports and the National Institute of Health and hospitals in three cities as well as some hospitals in Rawalpindi.
It appreciated the commitment and steps taken by national and provincial authorities to protect the country from Ebola.
So far no Ebola case has been reported in Pakistan but the country has started screening of people coming from the countries infected by the deadly virus.