Ten trained to ship infectious samples
Ten Bermudian civil servants have been trained to safely ship potential health hazards overseas for testing.
The two-day training session was run by the Caribbean Public Health Agency for officials from the Department of Health, the Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The training was needed because specialised lab testing of some specimens is not available in Bermuda.
A government spokeswoman said tests for the ebola virus would have to be carried out abroad and dangerous specimens needed special packaging and processing.
She added: Making sure there is a viable way to send suspected infectious material abroad is a vital step in Bermuda's public health preparedness and our compliance with the international health regulations.
“Postal, airline and other transport industry personnel require assurance that their safety and health is not at risk from packaged materials and specimens, otherwise they are unlikely to handle and transport shipments.”
The training was carried out last week by Sacha Wallace-Sankarsingh, Carpha biorisk manager, to ensure certification of island representatives in the handling and transportation of infectious substances.
The staff who took part were Susan Smith, Sakina Usher, Jason Iris, Andresa Bashir and Chalsey Symonds from the Department of Health, as well as Marshalita Tota from the Bermuda Hospitals Board.
Jonathan Nisbett, Shara Gibbons, Amaris Wharton and Kimberley Burch represented the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.