Canadian public health officials met last week to launch a joint planning exercise involving Canada’s Ebola virus disease (EVD) Rapid Response Team (RRT) and New Brunswick health officials.
Canada’s RRTs are comprised of Public Health Agency experts who are ready to deploy upon request and specifically equipped to provide surge capacity, additional resources and complementary expertise to provincial/territorial and local health authorities if a case of Ebola occurs in Canada.
This is the latest in a series of meetings and joint exercises between the RRT and provincial and territorial health officials to further strengthen and refine Canada’s domestic planning and coordination efforts.
The exercise, hosted by New Brunswick, tested various components of the province’s public health response including communication, biosafety, infection prevention and control, laboratory response, epidemiology and surveillance, and emergency operations in the event of an EVD case in the province.
In addition to launching the exercise, Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary reported on her recent mission to Nigeria and Sierra Leone where she provided expertise in infectious disease prevention and control as an advisor to the World Health Organization. Dr. Cleary shared lessons learned from her on-the-ground experience.
“The Government of Canada continues to work closely with its partners in health to ensure we are as prepared as possible in the event of a first case, and Canada’s Ebola Rapid Response Teams are an essential component of our collaborative Ebola planning,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. “Canada is fortunate to have a flexible, nimble model for rapid Ebola response, one that can deploy without hesitation when requested and adjust to varying needs from community to community.”
The Government of Canada has committed more than $110 million, to support health, humanitarian, and security interventions both at home and abroad to address Ebola.