United States Government Sponsors Regional Ebola Preparedness and Response Planning Workshop

Ambassador Terence P. McCulley during an interview (Dept of State)
Ambassador Terence P. McCulley during an interview (Dept of State)

ABIDJAN – The United States Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire is sponsoring a two-day Ebola preparation and response planning workshop in Abidjan for representatives from ten African countries September 22-23, 2014.  Government and health representatives are expected to attend from Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Togo to focus on strengthening their preparedness plans, share information, and collaborate to address this regional crisis before it spreads further.

This workshop, led by the U.S. Embassy through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),  is one of many efforts the United States is making in response to the Ebola epidemic and humanitarian crisis in West Africa.  At this time, experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and USAID are in Cote d’Ivoire to provide technical assistance with government planning and preparations and to facilitate a regional approach to containing the epidemic.

“A strong regional approach is critical to containing this outbreak because diseases do not stop at political borders,” U.S. Ambassador Terence McCulley said.  “The government of Cote d’Ivoire has taken many steps to be prepared for an outbreak, but this training will help to ensure that it is coordinating with government agencies in other countries in the region so that shared knowledge, experience and collaboration can bring this epidemic under control.  Every outbreak of Ebola over the past 40 years has been contained, and the United States is confident that this one can be as well.”

Among the topics to be covered during the two-day workshop are health care worker occupational safety and health; isolation and quarantine techniques; infection prevention and control; contact identification, tracing and monitoring; and communication and social mobilization.