Efforts to Combat Ebola

ACCRA, GHANA – The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Preparedness Program (CP2) is continuing the fight against Ebola.  DTRA CP2 is providing classroom training for personnel from 17 West African Countries. The training draws from the region’s recent Ebola experiences, and focuses on emergency preparedness, operations, and communications. 

The effort is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command’s (USAFRICOM) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) through the Center for Disaster and Health Management. The AFRICOM/DTRA team is participating in support of a multi-week West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI), which is co-hosted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana.

Students participate in three tracks: (1) Health, (2) Sectors (Logistics, Security, Civil-Military Humanitarian Assistance), and (3) Operations (Plans and SOP Development, Incident Command System, Emergency Operations Center, Strategic Communications). Participants are comprised of ministerial and staff-level personnel with backgrounds that include disaster preparedness, emergency response, and health and medical expertise.

The WADPI facilitators (to include DTRA personnel) lead the focus area discussions with the students.  In the sessions, the multi-nation group share their experiences and knowledge from the Ebola outbreaks to help build overall future regional resiliency. The DTRA team is also encouraging the development of a train-the-trainer capability, in which West African partners capitalize upon the knowledge gained here to conduct training within their respective countries. The WADPI is scheduled to extend through November, 2015 and will have trained almost 1000 personnel upon conclusion of the Initiative.

DTRA's mission is to protect the United States and its allies from chemical, nuclear, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, and deadly pathogens fall into the WMD category, according to DTRA leadership. Participating in the West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative is yet another example of the Agency’s dedication to continue to work towards long-lasting improved capability in international response.