The admission of Seven (7) staff and the death of two of them in a spate of two days have created anxiety, concern, fear and panic among staff, Brothers and clients in the hospital. The situation is aggravated by the news that most of the staff have fallen sick and are refusing to come to the hospital for treatment because of fear. Most staff are traumatized by the events unfolding in the hospital and as such the need to take additional decisions to complement earlier measures put in place by Management.
Measures put in place
Critically ill clients visiting the hospital are to be referred to other hospital from the OPD as soon as the Doctor comes into contact with such a Patient. In the event that it becomes necessary to observe the client further, the client shall not be retained in the Emergency for a period not more than 6 hours. These patients are to be referred to other hospitals within 6 hours for further management.
Medical Doctors who admit clients for observation are to follow up on these clients at the emergency ward within the 6 hours in order to make informed decision about the client.
2. Restrictions on Movements to the Emergency/Wards
- Visiting Hours
Visiting times of Client relatives to the hospital have been reviewed as follows:
Morning Visits : 6:00am – 8:00am
Afternoon Visit : 4:00pm – 6:00pm
- Physical Restriction of movement of
Two Security persons have been assigned to man the gates to the Inpatients Section of the hospital so as to physically restrict intruders from getting access into the Emergency / Wards at the wrong times
3. Collaboration with the Ministry of Health Disease Surveillance District Task Force
- Presence of the Ebola Surveillance Team
The Ebola Surveillance team visited the hospital yesterday to examine the situation and to administer their questionnaire on the staff suspected to be having Ebola. The team indicated that from their analysis of the questionnaire administered, there is nothing to suspect Ebola. They have however promised to send personnel to take blood samples from these clients for testing today to confirm whether or not the cases are Ebola related.
- Request for Test Tubes
The hospital has received three (3) test tubes to collect samples of three staff for testing.
The hospital has requested for additional test tubes from the DMO so that collection of blood samples for testing could be taken as routine in the hospital. We are yet to receive any response from the authorities.
- Request for Dead Body Bags
The hospital has also requested for Dead body bags to convey dead bodies in case of suspected deaths in the hospital.
4. Fumigating/Disinfecting of the Emergency Ward
The Emergency Ward of the hospital is to be disinfected by the close of work today. Staff have been sent to Freetown to procure the needed equipment and disinfectants for that purpose. This will be extended to the other wards in the hospital.
5. Isolation of staff
The staff on admission have been put on one side of the hospital for close observation and monitoring
6. Changing Rooms for staff
The hospital has allocated two rooms for staff to keep and to change their clothes when coming to work and on leaving the work place. The purpose is to prevent the spread of any infection to and from their houses and family. These rooms are located at the Hostel at the hospital main Gate.
7. Provision of Sanitizers and other disinfectants to the wards
All Staff in the hospital have been provided with sanitizers as a way of disinfecting their hands.
8. Observation Room
Work is still ongoing on the Observation Ward to make ready for use.
9. Collaboration with the Management of London Mining Company
Management of the hospital are collaborating with the London Mining Company to train the staff of the hospital to easily identify Ebola Patients. The training session was held yesterday in the hospital. The hospital is yet to receive an equipment the company promised to help measure temperature for Ebola.
So far, these are some measures we have put in place in order to minismise the risks of spread in addition to the strict adherence to Universal precautions in the discharge of clinical duties. Staff have been provided with basic facilities for them to use in caring for every patients. Sanitary officers and porters as well as security officers have been sensitized in the identification and handling of all patients and especially patients with hyperpyrexiae.
Thanks for your support and attention.
Br. Michael M. Koroma
Head of Institution