EVALUATION OF EBOLA OUTBREAK PREPAREDNESS IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN SELECTED POINTS OF ENTRY WITHIN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Purpose of the Study: The broad objective of this study was to assess how health facilities in selected points of entry within D.R. Congo are prepared towards containing any Ebola outbreak. Ebola virus is a single stranded non-segmented RNA virus with similar characteristics to paramyxoviruses and rhabdoviruses with regard to replication mechanisms and genome organization.
Statement of the Problem: The impact of Ebola on human has always been apparent as thousands of lives either gets infected or affected both globally and regionally. Democratic Republic of Congo will always be at risk and it is critical to remain prepared throughout in case of any Ebola outbreak.
Research Methodology: This study was a descriptive cross-sectional survey where quantitative and qualitative approaches through structured interview schedules, questionnaires and observational checklist were used to collect data. Sampling using proportional stratified random technique was used where healthcare professionals was separated into various cadres and then participants randomly selected from each cadre to achieve the desired sample size (n= 431). Data was entered, coded and cleaned in the excel software (Microsoft office 2010, Texas, USA). Statistical analysis of the data was performed using SPSS version 20 and the resulting information communicated to various key stakeholders.
Result: It was established that most health officers had not been trained on proper use of Personal Protective Equipment. The chi square statistic indicates statistically significant relationship between training health officers on proper use of Personal Protective Equipment has a direct effect on the ability of health officers to prepare and handle cases Ebola outbreak in the Country. Trained health officers on Ebola tracing contact were more likely to be prepared to handle Ebola outbreak preparedness as compared to the untrained officers. Contact tracing was also an important aspect of managing Ebola outbreak at entry and exit points in the country.
Conclusion: The study concluded that, the personnel and cadres available for screening passengers for Ebola disease at entry and exit points’ health facilities include public health officers, laboratory technicians, and nurses, doctors.
Recommendation: The study recommended that, health personnel should be assisted to further their education through provision of scholarships. This will help them to increase their skills on the screening processes for Ebola virus.
Key Words: Evaluation, Ebola, Outbreak, Preparedness, Entry Points, Democratic Republic of Congo
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