Securiport’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, George Canovas, attended the United States Congress’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, under the Committee of Energy and Commerce, hearing on “Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak.” The hearing focused on the role of U.S. public health agencies and their efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola within the U.S. The Subcommittee also evaluated the preparedness of U.S. ports, points of entry, healthcare facilities and other institutions to identify, diagnose, isolate, and treat Ebola patients in a safe and appropriate manner. Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) at the National Institute of Health (NIH), were both in attendance to testify on the Ebola outbreak.
One of the main topics of discussion was how to keep the Ebola virus contained in West Africa and limit the spread to the U.S. and other countries. Efforts to screen and identify travelers who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus in West Africa have been severely hampered by the lack of a centralized database with integrated health records across the health care providers and governments in the region as well as a lack of coordination and automated tracing tools deployed at all border entry and exit points.
The U.S. and CDC have been taking special precautions and will start to track everyone coming from Ebola nations. Starting next week, anyone travelling from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will have to report to health officials daily and take their temperature twice a day. CDC has also been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other partners at U.S. ports of entry to use routine processes to identify travelers with signs of infectious disease. CDC has also implemented a new layer of enhanced entry screenings at five U.S. airports, which receive approximately 94% of travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“We can really play an important role in the solution,” says Securiport’s Executive Vice President, George Canovas. Currently, Securiport immigration control systems are operational in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Guinea, with implementations in Liberia pending activation. Securiport’s specialized proprietary software, the Epidemic Control System (ECS), has been designed to operate within the immigration control systems, and utilizes biometrics for identity management and provides unique tools specifically aimed to identify possible carriers of the Ebola virus and control the spread of the disease. The ECS provides immediate benefits to health management agencies, institutions, and governments by enabling more effective contact tracing, and providing a common data collection platform to drive consistency in data collection. It also makes available Securiport’s proprietary Circle Monitoring and Link Analysis tools for use in contact tracing, which according to the CDC, contact tracing can have a major impact in stopping the Ebola outbreak.
“We are really excited to be a part of this discussion,” says George Canovas. “We feel very strongly that implementing our Epidemic Control System will make a huge impact in regards to keeping the Ebola virus contained in West Africa, as well as limiting its spread to other countries like the U.S. The Securiport ECS process has the ability to stop passengers before they board airplanes destined to the U.S. and other heavily populated areas, some of which are simply not prepared to handle cases of Ebola if infected passengers arrive in their country.”
Securiport can quickly upgrade its immigration control systems at airports to include the ECS within 20 days. Securiport proposes to expand its systems, including the ECS, to primary land and maritime border entry and exit points in order to enable health workers in each country to better monitor the movement of both confirmed cases of Ebola as well as suspected infections. In order to limit the human costs and economic impacts of the Ebola outbreak, governments must work together to provide and strengthen the infrastructure and security capabilities of all border entry and exit points.
Securiport is an essential force in the fight against the Ebola outbreak and other infectious diseases by providing governments and health organizations with the information they need to control the outbreak. Read more about Securiport’s role in securing borders in Africa, or Contact Us online to connect with a Securiport team member for more information.