Members of the country’s workforce were recently equipped with training to help protect them from COVID-19.
The training, which took place on the 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th and 14th of October, provided more than 100 persons with life saving techniques. Those trained were hotel managers and staff, customs and immigration staff, security personnel, Ministry of Health officials, tour operators, travel agents and ground crew.
The Ministry of Health in St. Kitts & Nevis approached the PAHO/WHO for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries, requesting the training. As a result, Dr. Joao Toledo, Advisor, Clinical Management of Infectious Diseases PAHO, Washington, D.C., and Dr. Valeska Stempliuk, Advisor, Health Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, PAHO – Jamaica, developed and conducted the training virtually.
Dr. Stempliuk explained that the objectives of the training were to limit human-to-human transmission; reduce secondary infections; and prevent transmission through amplification and super-spreading events. “We provided training in general infection prevention and control measures, management of the traveler with COVID-19 symptoms and management of workers’ health.”
Participants received the training enthusiastically, describing it as useful. Various questions were posed to the trainers, such as best practices for cleaning the environment, as well as protocols for the testing of workers.
Standard precautions were shared on hand hygiene, use of PPE, respiratory hygiene, sterilization and disinfection of medical devices and environmental cleaning.
Spatial separation and physical barriers were also addressed, as well as managing the sick traveler.
Another discussion point - managing situations where there is exposure and the three levels of decision making which should take place: type of exposure; type of monitoring according to level of exposure; presence of signs and symptoms.
In relation to hotels, staff learned about enhanced cleaning of all areas. They heard that regular protocols are efficient to eliminate SARS-CoV-2, as it relates to laundry, food safety and waste management. Key measures such as hand hygiene, use of masks, physical distancing and respiratory hygiene, were also outlined.
Guidance was also provided on the protocols when dealing with guests with influenza like illness (ILI): detection, isolation, communication with health authorities, communication with other guests, and follow-up of workers.