The U.S. is ramping up its response to the Ebola virus outbreak where it began in West Africa months ago. President Obama promised to send up to 4,000 U.S. troops to the region. This week, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) also began a new training course to help troops work safely in an Ebola infected environment. CCTV America’s Lorna Shaddick reports.
Putting on personal protective equipment is a crucial part of preparing to operate safely in the Ebola-hit areas of West Africa.
About three dozen, a mixture of military personnel and voluntary medical staff, are preparing to head to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in West Africa, where the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 3,000 people.
“We are really emphasizing the practical hands-on activities that you see behind me. People are putting on protective equipment every day of the course, they’re doing a simulated patient care activity every day and then they’re taking off their protective equipment. And they do all of this under the direct supervision of our instructors who make sure they do it correctly every time,” said Michael Jhung, a medical Officer and epidemiologist at the CDC.
For the first set of participants, despite the harsh realities they’re facing, these three days of training are reassuring and inspiring.
“I think, with proper care we can get the mortality rate down to maybe 30 percent and that’s what I’m hoping for, because I’m not going over there to carry body bags. I’m over there to help and give them the best shot possible,” said Ingrid Ockenhouse Donato, a Samaritan’s Purse volunteer.
The CDC said they will run the training for as long as it’s needed.