News nr. 46 | January 2015
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Dr. Isabel de Santiago in Africa to talk about Ebola

A public health communication specialist at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Dr. Isabel de Santiago has developed a communication plan for the prevention of Ebola contagion in the PALOP countries (African Countries of Portuguese Official Language), for which she drew support and in which she involved students from the António Arroio Secondary School.

This month she visited Guinea-Bissau where she met with the country's health officials with the aim of launching a campaign at the beginning of February. She is set to travel to São Tomé and Príncipe and Cabo Verde next. 

“It's the first time that Portugal has taken prevention action at the time of an ongoing epidemic”, said Dr. Isabel de Seantiago in an interview with Diário de Notícias. In this mission, she has the support of the Ministry of Health of Portugal, as well as of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon. 

“I hope that this could serve as an example for the future, so that we can avoid risks and prevent diseases, reducing their human and economic impact", she emphasised. 

The World Health Organisation is planning to launch a trial vaccination campaign in the three countries most affected by Ebola: Guinea, Serra Leoa and Liberia, where 8200 people have already died of the disease. 

It is urgent to inform people living in countries at greatest risk due to the proximity to the countries affected, especially in Guinea-Bissau. There, there is "fundamental work to be done as there is significant risk coming from the neighbouring Guinea, while the people there don't know anything about Ebola or factors contributing to contagion”, in the words of Prof. Francisco Antunes, Chief of the Unit for Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon. 

The project is entitled "Health Communication Plan: Avoiding Ebola virus contagion in the PALOP countries". Its primary objective is to make direct contact with local population, providing them with all the necessary information on the origin of the disease, the process of contagion and the ways of avoiding it. 

Source: Diário de Notícias

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Prof. Doutor J. Fernandes e Fernandes
Editorial Commitee: Prof. Doutor J. Fernandes e Fernandes, Prof. Doutor Alexandre Ribeiro, Prof. Doutor António Vaz Carneiro, Prof. Doutor João Ferreira, Dr. Luis Pereira
Information Officer: Ana Raquel Moreira
Editorial Team: Ana Maria Silva, Ana Raquel Moreira, André Silva, Lara Ponte, Miguel Andrade, Rui Gomes, Sónia Barroso, Susana Henriques, Tânia Simões
Collaboration: Communication and Image Office - Ana Isabel Gonçalves da Silva, Bruno Moura
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