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Kenya’s ministry of health goes electronic to raise Ebola awareness

Health & Science

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Ministry of Health has now resorted to use of electronic channels to bolster preparedness and raise awareness on Ebola.

The Director of Medical Services Nicholas Muraguri, through an SMS, referred the 9,000 doctors registered in Kenya to WHO guidelines on management of Ebola posted one of its website https://db.tt/UiHp87BW.

 “As part of our Ebola preparedness plan, we would like to share the WHO Ebola clinical management guidelines. Follow this link to download https://db.tt/UiHp87BW,” wrote Dr Muraguri.

On another site, www.ddsr.or.ke, hosted by the Disease Surveillance and Response Unit, the ministry has posted 12 different publications targeting the public and health workers on the management and precautions to take to keep the disease at bay.

“While also maintaining traditional channels of communication, going electronic is much faster and cost-effective and we hope millions of Kenyan with access to the Internet will access this information and share it with those not connected,” Dr Muraguri told The Standard yesterday.

Among other things, WHO’s 103-page document gives step-by-step instructions on how medical workers should handle suspected, confirmed and even bodies of Ebola victims.

Local health workers have persistently complained of lack of information on how to manage the disease which has killed about 4,500 people, most of them in West Africa.

But even as the Ministry of Health launched a media campaign to educate the public on how to stay safe from the disease, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday posted new and stricter guidelines for protecting medical workers.

A document posted on CDC’s website, http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/t1020-ebola-reponse-update.html, makes it mandatory for health workers taking care of Ebola patients to be supervised while putting on or taking off the protective gear. The updated guidelines also recommends that all medical workers be trained on how to wear or take off the protective gear.

Local health workers have also been warned to take utmost care when using the protective gear.

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