Institute for Tropical Medicine supports Preparedness in Neighboring Rwanda
Institute for Tropical Medicine trains trainers in Rwanda to fight Ebola.
A new outbreak of Ebola fever in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been fought since August this year by local authorities, WHO and NGOs. The province is adjacent to Rwanda. There, the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ITMIG) has been partnering with the local university hospital for a decade. Even before the current outbreak, ITMIG staff and the EFFO project group of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) have begun to train trainers to fight Ebola. At the end of September, ITMIG and RKI were operating in the Rwandan border town of Gisenyi, near Goma, to help establish a local Rapid Response Team and advise health authorities. Dr. Maximillian Gertler from ITMIG, who was already involved in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014: "So far, the epidemic center is 200 km away. However, there are 40,000 daily border crossings between Goma (DRC) and Gisenyi (Rwanda). Despite screenings at the border, there is a concrete risk of introduction. Particularly at risk is the medical staff, which can lead to the collapse of health care. Therefore, we have not only trained in the handling of personal protective equipment, but also in the identification, isolation and transport of suspected cases." The Rwandan Ministry of Health now plans with ITMIG and RKI to extend the training measures to the national level and to set up a temporary isolation unit. The Acting Director of ITMIG, Prof. Dr. med. Frank Mockenhaupt: "Our partners in Rwanda have been facing the risk of Ebola being introduced for years. The training measures carried out together with the RKI now fall into a very acute danger situation. Due to the existing university clinic partnership, our training activities can be implemented quickly and with little friction. The RKI's EFFO project and ITMIG's expertise in containing local outbreaks complement each other perfectly. This is a good example of the purpose and effectiveness of our presence in Rwanda and the "Global South" and underlines the direct benefits of Global Health activities at Charité.
Acting Director, Institute of Tropical Medicine and International HealthCharité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
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