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WCM-Q seminar on containing infectious disease

US-based expert Sean G. Kaufman explained the theory of containment protocols and gave practical demonstrations of key skills to minimize transmission risk.
US-based expert Sean G. Kaufman explained the theory of containment protocols and gave practical demonstrations of key skills to minimize transmission risk.

A visiting expert outlined key strategies for containing diseases such as ebola and MERS at two seminar sessions hosted by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

Sean G. Kaufman, a US-based expert and trainer in behavioral sciences, infectious disease control, emergency preparedness and risk communication led healthcare professionals from institutions all over Qatar through a series of presentations, practical demonstrations and Q&A sessions to provide them with crucial knowledge about disease containment.

The program explained the history of infection control, the human risk factors involved in the spread of disease, strategies to mitigate contamination risk, and how to set up an effective isolation unit. The same seminar was offered on two separate days, allowing more than 160 delegates to attend in total.

The event, entitled Clinical Containment Strategies for Emerging Infectious Disease, also covered important Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for work in an isolation unit. These covered practical measures such as how to safely clean up spills, clinical medical surveillance, how to respond to needle-stick injuries and how to safely remove gloves to minimize the risk of inadvertent contamination.

Kaufman emphasized that the key to success in contamination depends upon rigorous training, comprehensive knowledge of disease, demonstration of competency in relevant standard operating procedures, and clearly established protocols.

He said: “In order for us to have appropriate protocols and training we actually have to be able to classify where a patient goes when we know what they have and what transmission risk they present. For example if a patient has CCHF (Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever) then they go to this particular area and these specific protocols are activated. If they have MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) then these particular protocols are activated in this particular location.

“Once you diagnose what your patient has then you have specific protocols and training for the nurses and doctors who will be treating these patients.”

Sara Taleb, a laboratory technician at Hamad Medical Corporation, attended the event. She said: “I found the seminar very useful, particularly the practical demonstrations like the correct technique for removing gloves, which is a simple but very important measure for managing risk.”

Tom Doyle, WCM-Q’s director of environmental health, safety and security, said: “We are extremely pleased that so many people attended to hear our expert speaker’s extremely pertinent insights into disease containment. Adopting tried and tested protocols such as those discussed by Sean not only protects the wellbeing of patients affected by disease but also society as a whole.”

The lecture was accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).