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WHO representatives conduct workshop for healthcare providers

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WORLD Health Organization representatives conducted a two-day workshop on measles outbreak for healthcare providers at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Thursday and Friday.

WHO trainer Emma Kettle, and Katri Kontio, WHO representative for the Western Pacific Regional Office, were invited by CHCC to help create standard operating policies and processes for handling measles outbreak in the CNMI.

“They have worked with all the other islands and countries in this region and so they have a good idea [of the situation],” CHCC communications and public relations specialist Zoe Travis said.

“It can be hard to take all the information and put it into writing, and put it into a list and a policy. Their function was to help us facilitate the process,” she added.

The workshop included a simulation during which a suspected measles patient was brought to the emergency room. The workshop participants learned where to isolate the patient, how to protect the other patients, when and how to tell people about it without causing panic.

Katri Kontio, World Health Organization representative for the Western Pacific Regional Office, conducted a workshop on measles preparedness for healthcare providers on Thursday and Friday at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“WHO shared with us very high level organizational processes for measles preparedness,” Travis said.

Participants in the workshop included representatives from the Public Health and Emergency Preparedness Program, the Immunization Program, the Bureau of Environmental Health, ER doctors, nurses, and non-clinical division personnel.

“We had a good attendance of non-clinical staff,” Travis said. “Going out to the community and community members getting vaccinated are important in the prevention and intervention efforts.”

In December, Travis said CHCC conducted a table exercise to identify its strengths and weaknesses in case there is a measles outbreak on island.

“Our biggest strength is just how knowledgeable our emergency preparedness staff are,” she added. “Everyone here knows what they are doing and knows how to do it well, but we don’t have a lot of things written about it. One of the weaknesses is if one of them leaves, then someone else needs to be able to fill in and look at what they’re supposed to do and be able to step into that role.”

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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