Lifestyle

Stepping up to stop Ebola in its tracks

FRONT LINE: Former Ballina resident and epidemiologist Barbara Telfer is working to fight the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as part of Doctors Without Borders. INSET: A medical worker spraying people being discharged from the Ebola treatment centre in Liberia.
FRONT LINE: Former Ballina resident and epidemiologist Barbara Telfer is working to fight the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as part of Doctors Without Borders. INSET: A medical worker spraying people being discharged from the Ebola treatment centre in Liberia. Ap Inset Image

EPIDEMIOLOGIST Barbara Telfer is at the forefront of the Ebola crisis.

The former Ballina resident is working in the rural Foya district in northern Liberia as part of the Doctors Without Borders team working tirelessly to manage the deadly outbreak.

It's Ms Telfer's fourth mission, having spent almost two years working in Kenya and two missions to Mozambique - all in response to HIV and emergencies.

Her days begin with a 7.30am meeting with the health promotion and outreach team to prioritise the day's activities based on new admissions and data received overnight.

If a patient is admitted overnight, the health promotion and outreach team can go to their village and talk to the community leaders and arrange for a community meeting to see how they're managing, sensitise them to prevention and help identify people at risk for monitoring.

Ms Telfer said patients could come in by themselves, phone the hotline, or be sent by authorities.

"If they're a suspected case, they're admitted to the respective area where they're very rapidly tested for Ebola and managed clinically," she said.

"Everyone has one test. If the first test is positive, they move immediately to the confirmed area of the case management centre.

"If their first test is negative, usually people have a second test because it can take three days from onset for an Ebola test to turn positive."

Ms Telfer said data was collected for every person admitted or who died as a result of the disease.

She said the data and patient notes helped identify the chain of transmission, often up to 20 people.

"That sometimes leads us to the most recent case to let us know where to direct some prevention activities and promotion."

Topics:  ebola, health




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

‘Gonna miss ya, Dad, love ya’: Emotional farewell to Chappy

REMEMBERED: Robin “Chappy” Chapman whose life was remembered at a ceremony at the Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre.

Hundreds gathered for the funeral of much-loved Lennox local

WATCH: Page pollies make their final pitch to voters

The pre-polling booth in Molesworth Street, Lismore.

The marathon campaign has almost come to an end...

Labor odds on to win Page

Labor candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin

Labor is set to win the seat of Page, according to the TAB

Latest deals and offers

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?