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University medic helps in the fight against Ebola

Dr Derek Sloan, a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews and Consultant Infectious Diseases physician in NHS Fife, travelled to Rwanda as part of a four-person team with the Department of International Development (DfID) to work alongside the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ministry of Health, Rwanda Biomedical Council and others to help bolster Ebola preparedness activities.

Working mainly in the Rubavu District and at Gisenyi District Hospital, one of the team’s most important activities was to help co-ordinate a simulation exercise on how a suspect Ebola patient would be managed at the hospital in a way which provided best supportive care whilst minimising risks of transmission to others. Regular practice with simulations and feedback is the best way for healthcare workers to be ready in advance of emergencies so this was a very valuable exercise.

Dr Sloan said: “It was good to be back to meet Rwandan colleagues who are near the front line of the global public health response, and to discuss ongoing challenges.

“The ongoing Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo continues to present challenges, not only to those who are directly affected, but to neighbouring countries.”

Dr Sloan also visited Rwanda a year ago on a WHO technical consultancy to help with Ebola Preparedness. Previously he has worked in Sierra Leone during the West African Ebola outbreak in 2015 and was the UK Emergency Medical Team Clinical Lead during an outbreak of diphtheria amongst the displaced Rohingya population in Bangladesh in 2018.


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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