Representatives of the World Health Organization are right now on Saipan to work with the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. and enable it to prepare in case of a measles outbreak.
Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness coordinator B.J. Nicolas said the WHO representative arrived yesterday and will be on island until today to guide the CNMI health department on the steps it can take to prepare in case of a measles outbreak and to share their knowledge of how WHO has fought the virus.
“They’ll be providing some knowledge and expertise based on their background, having dealt with the measles outbreak in the South Pacific and then being familiar with other countries that do not have an immunization program in place. We’re very excited to have these guys come in and be able to address some of the concerns we weren’t able to identify and give us some of their knowledge and skills that we can incorporate into our planning and into our operations,” he said.
According to Warren Villagomez, Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness program director, WHO wants to work with CHCC on the process of preparing for an outbreak.
“We’re happy to get subject matter experts like them because they’re down in the South Pacific where they see the real events and threats,” he said.
The WHO representatives met yesterday with the CHCC personnel who would ultimately respond in the event of a measles outbreak. CHCC said the WHO representatives will be available to meet the media today.