Responding to the Potential of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Importation into Malaysia|
WAN MOHAMED NOOR, Wan Noraini; SANDHU, Sukhvinder Singh; AHMAD MAHIR, Husna Maizura; KURUP, Devan; RUSLI, Norhayati; SAAT, Zainah; CHONG, Chee Kheong; SULAIMAN, Lokman Hakim & ABDULLAH, Noor Hisham
The current Ebola outbreak, which is the first to affect West African countries, has been declared to have met the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Malaysia has taken steps to strengthen and enhanced the five core components of preparedness and response to mitigate the outbreak. The National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) commands, controls and coordinates the preparedness and response plans for disasters, outbreaks, crises and emergencies (DOCE) related to health in a centralised way. Through standardised case definition and mandatory notification of Ebola by public and private practitioners, surveillance of Ebola is made possible. Government hospitals and laboratories have been identified to manage and diagnose Ebola virus infections, and medical staff members have been trained to handle an Ebola outbreak, with emphasis on strict infection prevention and control practices. Monitoring of the points of entry, focusing on travellers and students visiting or coming from West African countries is made possible by interagency collaborations. To alleviate the public’s anxiety, effective risk communications are being delivered through various channels. With experience in past outbreak control, the MOH’s preparedness and response plans are in place to abate an Ebola outbreak.
Ebola; Ministry of Health Malaysia; preparedness; response; outbreak