MEDDAC-Japan conducts bilateral Ebola preparedness drill

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The mock patient was prepped and placed into an isolation pod for transfer to the local hospital. Coordination was made with Japanese partners to ensure a police escort was in place for the ambulance and to enable admittance to their isolation ward during the Ebola response exercise, Nov. 21, 2014, at Camp Zama, Japan.  Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rodney P. Horner
The mock patient was prepped and placed into an isolation pod for transfer to the local hospital. Coordination was made with Japanese partners to ensure a police escort was in place for the ambulance and to enable admittance to their isolation ward during the Ebola response exercise, Nov. 21, 2014, at Camp Zama, Japan. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rodney P. Horner

MEDDAC-Japan conducts bilateral Ebola preparedness drill

by: 1st Lt. Michael D. Swayze | .
U.S. Army | .
published: November 28, 2014

TOKYO (Nov. 26, 2014) -- Medical Department Activity-Japan successfully conducted an exercise Nov. 21, 2014, ensuring its Ebola Virus Disease response plans are valid.

The event was aimed at validating staff on comprehensive Ebola preparedness and to show the community Medical Department Activity-Japan, known as MEDDAC-J, is commited and prepared to protect the health and safety of community members.

The MEDDAC-J exercise included identification of a mock patient with Ebola, using symptoms and epidemiological factors.

Leaders say the patient was led through a very stringent process in order to protect clinic staff and visitors.

Coordination was then made through a Japanese Hospital to enable the pickup and successful admittance of a suspected Ebola patient.

As an ambulatory care clinic, MEDDAC-J would send suspected Ebola patients to the host nation medical facilities, which are properly equipped to treat them safely.

Successful coordination with Japanese authorities is a significant step in any exercise.

The local Hokenjo, which is similar to a state health department, worked very closely with MEDDAC-J in planning for the care of an Ebola patient.

Their assistance and cooperation ensured the successful execution of the preparedness drill.

The lessons learned from the training will help MEDDAC-J and Japanese partners further refine the plan for the care of Ebola patients, and the safety of staff and communities.

MEDDAC-J greatly appreciates the cooperation and assistance of their host nation partners and have great confidence in their capabilities, leaders said.

"Overall the exercise was a great success. The performance of our staff and the collaboration with the local Host Nation organizations really added to the exercise's realism and generated important lessons learned to incorporate into our plans," said Lt. Col. Philip Ginder, deputy commander for administration for MEDDAC-J.

Although the probability of an Ebola case presenting to Brigadier General Crawford E. Sams Clinic is low, MEDDAC-J is well-prepared to quickly identify, isolate, and transfer any suspected Ebola patient to a facility that can best treat him or her, safely.

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