Maseru, Lesotho, 15 August 2014 - Following a declaration of Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a Public Health Event of International Concern by the Director General of WHO on the 8th August 2014, the Ministry of Health in Lesotho, through the technical and financial assistance from WHO Lesotho held a three day emergency meeting to draw up an Ebola Preparedness and Response Plan. The Plan aims to provide procedures to be followed in preparing for and responding to the possible threat of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Lesotho. The procedures outlined in the Plan are geared towards minimizing the number of cases and deaths from the disease.
In his opening remarks on the first day of the meeting, the WHO Representative for Lesotho , Dr. Thomas Sukwa, gave a brief history of EVD and indicated that to date, there is no cure for it world wide. Dr. Sukwa urged participants to move fast in developing a plan and to take this exercise very seriously. ‘’WHO will continue to offer the necessary support to the Ministry of Health. I will always be there to respond to any questions that may need my response during this three day meeting,’’ he concluded.
Among the Ministry of Health Officials that participated in this meeting was the Director of Diseases Control, Dr. Mosilinyane Letsie.
The Ebola Preparedness and Response Plan for Lesotho covers the objectives, actions and activities to be undertaken prior to, during and post the epidemic. The pre-epidemic plan objective is to put in place and sustain interventions for the prevention of EVD in Lesotho. The objective during the epidemic is to reduce deaths from EVD and minimize the spread of the disease amongst the population of Lesotho. Lastly, the post-epidemic objective is to strengthen recovery and preventative measures in order to avert future EVD epidemics.
Yesterday, 14th August 2014, the Plan was presented to the Senior Management of the Ministry of Health, comprising the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Pinkie Manamolela, and the Principal Secretary Mr. Lefu Manyokole. The aim of the presentation was to provide an update of the progress made to date and seek their endorsement to the Plan. The Plan will be presented to the cabinet on Tuesday the 19th of August 2014.
- WHO Representative, Dr. Thomas Sukwa making the opening remarks at the Preparedness and Response Meeting for Ebola
- Mr. Khotso Mahamo presenting an outline of the three day meeting to participants
- Group work during the meeting
- Participants discussing issues during the meeting