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Health Ministry Establishes National Contact Tracing and Sampling Committee

by: - March 30, 2020
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A National Contact Tracing and Sampling Committee has been established in the Primary Health Care Services Division of the Ministry of Health.

This committee handles contact tracing and collecting samples for testing in communities.

Director of Primary Healthcare Services, Dr Laura Esprit, chair of that committee detailed, “It comprises the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism, the Chief Dental Officer, Coordinator of the HIV/AIDS Response Unit and our Two Senior Community Health Nurses.”

She said further, “There is one team leader per region who reports directly to the Director of Public Healthcare Services. Each district has a smaller team comprising of the District Medical Officer, Senior Community Health Nurse, Community Health Nurse, Family Nurse Practitioner, other nurses and a driver. These persons are responsible for contact tracing, follow-up and surveillance.”

Dr Esprit explained that this team is further divided into an Administrative Team and Mobile Sampling Field Team.

“The admin team is responsible for ongoing patient investigation and care, mapping of confirmed and probable cases, identification of contacts of contacts and other logistics,” she detailed.

The Mobile Sampling Field Team, described as critical to identifying further contacts, also provides supports in case of surges.

“This enables prompt sampling of all suspects over a shorter period of time,” according to Dr Esprit.

This team comprises a Medical Doctor, Family Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Nurse trained in infection control responsible for staff welfare. This nurse ensures that the medical team correctly and safely collects samples and dons and doffs personal protective equipment.”