‘Medical preparedness and a swift international response to the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo are essential if we are to prevent a new Ebola epidemic,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
‘Norway is one of only a few countries in the world to have the equipment and expertise to transport highly infectious patients safely. The Government has therefore decided to donate units for single-patient transport, called the EpiShuttle, to DR Congo. We will also put together a team that can train personnel on behalf of WHO in the country,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.
The EpiShuttle single-patient units have been developed in Norway and make it possible to transport infected people to isolation wards safely, while giving them treatment on the way. The team will be made up of two to four specialists from the Norwegian National Unit for CBRNE Medicine at Oslo University Hospital, and will give essential training in using the infection control equipment.
The Norwegian authorities are engaged in an ongoing dialogue with both WHO and the EU on the provision of additional assistance, should the situation deteriorate further.