Livingstone designated to treat Ebola virus disease

SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
Port Elizabeth’s Livingstone Hospital is one of two in the Eastern Cape and 11 in the country that has been designated to treat Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has told the National Assembly.

Port Elizabeth’s Livingstone Hospital is one of two in the Eastern Cape and 11 in the country that has been designated to treat Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has told the National Assembly.

The other hospital in the Eastern Cape is Frere in East London.

Replying to a question, the Minister said that all hospitals designated by his department to treat EVD were “in a high state of readiness.

“All the designated hospitals have received guidelines on Viral Haemorrhagic Fever and EVD, dealing with all aspects of the diagnosis, isolation, treatment and even management of possible fatalities that may occur due to Ebola Virus Disease and other viral haemorrhagic fevers.”

Motsoaledi said Livingstone and the other hospitals had been supplied with “a full complement of personal protective equipment (PPE) that consisted of jump suits, scrub suit, N95 mask, show cover, double gloves and goggles.

Livingstone and Frere have both received 30 suits of the protective clothing, he said, adding that what this meant was that if there was any Ebola in one of the hospitals “health workers will be ready to jump into action in a full complement of personal protective clothing”.

The Minister said he believed South Africa was “very ready”.

Replying to another question, the Minister said that Viral Haemorrhagic Fever and EVD guidelines had been distributed to all provinces.

He said the training of health care workers had been conducted at the designated hospitals, including Port Health, emergency medical services, “outbreak response teams” and the civil aviation authorities.

Motsoaledi said “enhanced surveillance” had been implemented at air, land and sea at points of entry.

Further, the Minister said, travellers were required to “request approval” to travel to and from high risk countries before departure from and arriving in South Africa.

Cabinet, he added, had approved a travel ban on all non-essential travel to “high-risk countries” such as Guinea, while all people returning from these countries would be subject to rigorous screening and medical assessment. - metrominutes