Ebola Virus

US to cater for African doctors, to get high-tech Ebola training


The United States of America is really taking the bull by the horn on the Ebola cases in Africa. The U.S. will help pay virologists in 11 African countries considered the most at risk to diagnose Ebola and other diseases that transfer from animals to humans.

According to VOA reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency, plans to train doctors to make safer, and faster diagnoses for deadly diseases such as Ebola using cutting-edge technology.  U.S. and other IAEA donors have made a commitment to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including health, food security, environmental protection and water resource management.

The United States has  contributed $1 million to the effort so far.

Virologists will be trained on high-tech equipment based on molecular biology in the 11 countries, chosen because "they are the most at risk," according to Michel Warnau, head of the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation for Africa in Vienna.

They include Guinea, Liberia; Sierra Leone; Ivory Coast; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; South Africa and Uganda.

Training will start as early as March or April, Warnau said.

"This first activity started in 11 countries that are, let's say, the most at risk, either because they are affected by the Ebola virus or because they are bordering these countries, or from road or air traffic," Warnau said, "but in the broader project, all of the African countries are targeted."

Doctors will be trained to use the molecular biology approach known as RT-PCR to diagnose Ebola. RT-PCR is particularly useful in identifying diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans, Warnau said. Doctors will also learn how to be safer in high-risk environments such as Ebola labs, VOA reports.

The immediate goal of the project is to fully train between four and five virologists in all of the selected countries to use the molecular biology technique of RT-PCR in diagnosing emerging diseases.

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