Sitata Co-Founder Named Ebola Incident Manager For Latin America
We’re excited to announce that our co-founder, Dr. Ronald St. John, will be providing support to the Pan American Health Organization, acting as the Ebola Incident Manager for Latin American countries.
There is a growing, global concern that Ebola will spread from Western Africa to other parts of the world. Rapid, worldwide, air travel exposes populations in other countries to potential cases of Ebola who might unwittingly travel during the long incubation period of the disease.
Countries have been implementing measures to ensure their health care systems are prepared to handle an unexpected case of this serious disease. Ron’s experience in emergency preparedness and response in the health sector will be a major asset in this initiative.
As the former Director General of the Federal Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ron managed a variety of crises throughout his tenure. Spanning several years, Ron lead the Canadian response to the 9/11 attacks, the anthrax attacks of 2001, the SARS epidemic in 2002, and the preparedness plan for the H1N1 epidemic in 2009.
While it is unlikely that Ebola cases will appear in many countries, it is imperative that the health systems, including hospital staff, be trained and protected just in case.
The long incubation period of Ebola makes it almost impossible to prevent everyone carrying the disease from entering a country. Ron stresses that the most important screening process takes place in the hospital emergency room where anyone must be questioned regarding not just their travel history, but also their family’s travel history.
Although Ron will be actively working on strategies and policies for Latin American countries, our travel advisory team and its services will not be disrupted.