P500M allocated for Ebola preparedness

By , on October 22, 2014

Ebola virus (Shutterstock photo)
Ebola virus (Shutterstock photo)

MANILA – The Department of Health revealed that some P500 million is being allocated for the upgrade of Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) laboratory to contain Ebola virus, suppose it reaches the country.

To enhance its functionality in treating and containing potentially high risk infection agents, the RITM is upgrading laboratory hospitals from a biosafety level 2 to 3 or 4.

Health secretary Enrique Ona added that the funding for the upgrade will come from the department’s P500 million budget for disaster response.

RITM has an improved “triage system” that screens and evaluates suspected Ebola-infected patients.

Ona also said that as of now, the laboratory is equipped with detection technology making it ready to respond to any Ebola threat.

He added that the RITM has already trained personnel who will do immediate response, once the virus enters the country.

Meanwhile, health workers were also trained to use the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to avoid the further spread of the disease.

“We may lack in facilities, but we are capable to manage possible Ebola cases and we are ready to share our capabilities to other hospitals,” RITM director Dr. Soccoro Lupisan said.