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Jan 30, 2002

Health officials train for disasters

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“Post Disaster Epidemiological Surveillance” was the focus of a one-day workshop attended by sixty health care professionals, ranging from doctors to public health inspectors. According to Dr. Paul Edwards, director of epidemiology, today’s seminar lays the groundwork for health management of future disasters.

Dr. Paul Edwards, Dir., Epidemiological Unit

“To strengthen those participants, or those who have participated in events related to disaster, for example Hurricane Iris and Hurricane Keith. To strengthen their response, so that they will be better able to address the needs, especially in relation to surveillance. In the past, we have had a very good response, we haven’t had an outbreak as such reported after Hurricane Keith and Iris. So we’re not wanting to be complacent, and so our goal is to try and improve on what we have already set.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“What are some of the issues being looked at?”

Dr. Paul Edwards

“Definitely, we have some forms that have presented some problems in the past. The participants will be instructed on how to fill them in and how to fill them in a correct manner, so that we will be able to have information to react immediately in relation to the rapid health assessment and aerial assessment, hospital shelter surveillance. The purpose of this then is to have information immediately, post disaster to react to the needs.”

Today’s workshop, the first of four to be held in the north, west and south of the country, featured several presentations on national disaster plans and reviews of the Keith and Iris experiences.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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