MSH Policy for Travel to/from Ebola-affected Countries
Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a global health nonprofit organization, is addressing the escalating Ebola outbreaks in West Africa. Our team in Liberia is assisting the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with the country’s Ebola response. For more on our response, visit here. MSH has issued the following guidelines for its staff traveling to/from Ebola-affected countries.
MSH takes every precaution to protect the health of all MSH colleagues and public health of our surrounding communities. We are also mindful to not cause stigmatization of staff or visitors who have recently returned from Ebola-affected countries.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ) has provided guidelines and mandatory procedures for travelers to and from West Africa that MSH is using as the foundation for all guidance for staff, consultants, and partners traveling to these areas.
Currently, all MSH staff returning from Liberia fall into the CDC low risk category. They have not been involved with direct patient treatment and care. According to CDC guidelines, they will participate in 21-day active monitoring under the guidance of the state or local public health authorities with at least a daily check-in to assess for the presence of symptoms and fever. There are no restrictions on travel, work, public transportation or daily activities, providing they remain asymptomatic.
In addition, MSH is providing returning staff with five paid work days for R & R before returning to work. A return to work risk assessment must be completed by a health professional before returning to work.
MSH provides medical travel benefits available to full-time and part-time employees, as well as contractors, subcontractors, and consultants who work solely for MSH and are traveling on the business of, or at the expense of, MSH outside their country of residence or permanent assignment.
MSH staff must undertake a pre-trip risk health assessment, ideally conducted 4-6 weeks before the employee leaves, to discuss recommendations for their visit based on their health history and travel plans. MSH recommends that during the trip, staff protect their health and safety by following CDC’s recommended healthy behaviors and general recommendations for preventing Ebola. Staff are monitoring their temperatures while in any Ebola-stricken area on a daily basis.
MSH is monitoring the national and international situation carefully, using CDC and governmental guidelines and consulting best practices guidance regarding travel abroad and about the repatriation needs of staff.