The Government of Canada’s Ebola virus disease Rapid Response Teams (RRT) are comprised of experts from the Public Health Agency of Canada who are specifically equipped to provide support to provincial/territorial and local health authorities in the event of a confirmed first case of Ebola in Canada.
In the event of a confirmed case of Ebola, the Agency’s RRT is ready to deploy and provide surge capacity, additional resources and complementary expertise to prevent any further spread of the disease. The province or territory requesting assistance can request the team be comprised of experts in various fields including epidemiology, infection prevention and control, biosafety, laboratory response, communications, and logistics.
Transport Canada has designated four aircraft, two planes centrally located in Winnipeg and two in Ottawa, with the capability of quickly moving the rapid response teams and personal protective equipment anywhere in Canada. These planes are loaded with key equipment and ready to take off at a moment’s notice.
If at any point Canada was to confirm a first case of Ebola, one of five available teams would be deployed to work with the provincial/territorial and local health authorities to provide surge capacity.
Provincial and territorial health authorities, healthcare organizations and associations across Canada have undertaken extensive planning and preparation activities since the Ebola outbreak began in Africa. As part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure all levels of government are well integrated and prepared to collaborate effectively at a moment’s notice, an RRT Advance Planning Team has been established.
The RRT Advance Planning Team is working directly with provincial and territorial health officials to identify and prepare for addressing their specific needs. This work serves to further refine our domestic planning and coordination efforts by:
- assessing and supporting the implementation of public health measures (e.g. case and contact management, community and hospital infection prevention and control measures);
- identifying surge capacity requirements and options to operationalize them (human resources and material goods (i.e. laboratory, personal protective equipment, etc.);
- providing guidance on best practices for risk management communications; and
- seeking collaborative approaches to meet Canada’s obligations to report under the International Health Regulations.
The Government of Canada continues to work closely with its partners in health to ensure Canada is well prepared and coordinated in the event a first case of Ebola occurs in Canada.