Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is reassured that the new guidelines announced by Health Canada regarding Canadian health workers returning from Ebola zones in West Africa do not conflict with MSF's protocols.
Over the course of the last two decades, MSF has developed a strict set of protocols governing the return of international health workers from Ebola zones to their home countries. These guidelines, which are constantly updated to reflect the latest and most advanced scientific understanding of the Ebola virus, are shared, discussed and reviewed with all Canadian field workers who work with MSF in Ebola affected regions, and with the public health authorities in Canada. These new guidelines by Health Canada will avoid stigma against aid workers and most importantly, not discourage aid workers from returning to Ebola affected regions, which is critical in helping to control the outbreak at its source in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“Having witnessed non-scientific measures adopted by some other jurisdictions already do a disservice to how people understand the disease, create fear and even create grave concern among our field workers," said MSF Canada executive director Stephen Cornish, "I’d say we were reassured that the measures adopted Monday largely reflect MSF's existing protocols of self-monitoring, checking symptoms and reporting symptoms immediately to health authorities.”