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Dr. Francis Arab
FRANCIS ARAB received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Havana in 1980 with specialties in plastic surgery in 1987 and 1990. He has served in medical capacities in Cuba, Canada, Florida and Nicaragua. Presently Francis is an Environmental Specialist II with the Florida Department of Health, Miami. His responsibilities include regulation of bio-medical waste, vector control and water quality. As a FAVACA volunteer Dr. Arab served in Panama in 2000, where he trained 125 staff of the Ministries of Health and Environment at a national waste management and environmental health congress co-sponsored by the United States Peace Corps. The versatile Dr. Arab did double duty there advising Peace Corps officials on how to protect volunteers against an outbreak of deadly Hanta virus. He also served on two occasions in 2002 and 2003 with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health and various hospitals on bio-medical waste disposal.
NICARAGUAN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TRAINED IN INFECTION CONTROL AND BIO-MEDICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT. Under an agreement with the U.S. Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program, FAVACA executed a project on bio-medical waste in Nicaragua. Three volunteers Miriam Balinda, infection control coordinator at Kendall Memorial Hospital; Karina Celaya, MPH, a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control; and Dr. Francis Arab, specialist in environmental health with the Miami-Dade County Department of Health, traveled to Nicaragua January 12-18, 2003. The Ministry of Health was instrumental in coordinating a training schedule for the week. The team provided training to approximately 170 hospital professionals at two hospitals in Managua and the hospital in Leon. The trainings focused on infection control, most common nosocomial infections, and collection, classification, and disposal of biomedical waste. Additionally, the team held a successful meeting with representatives from hospital infection control committees to facilitate inter-hospital collaboration. FAVACA staffer Maria Malterer accompanied the group.
BIO-MEDICAL WASTE SITUATION ASSESSED AT NICARAGUAN HOSPITALS. Under an agreement with the U.S. Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program, FAVA/CA executed a project on bio-medical waste in Nicaragua. FAVA/CA return volunteer Dr. Francis Arab, specialist in environmental health with the Miami-Dade County Department of Health, traveled to Nicaragua September 22-28, 2002. Arab met with Dr. Jose Luis Perez, Director of Emergency and Disaster Programs at the Ministry of Health and Engineer Rosa Ines Martinez in the Environmental Health Dept. of the Ministry. They discussed the current disposal systems and the possibility of developing a training program for hospital staff to enhance their ability to prevent injury and potential spread of disease. The assessment included visits to four hospitals in Managua and the hospitals in Masaya and Granada. Additionally, Arab provided basic infectious waste management training for the staff of two hospitals. FAVA/CA staffer Maria Malterer accompanied Dr. Arab on this trip.
PEACE CORPS PANAMA CONDUCTS TRAINING IN SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT. Janice Jorgensen, Peace Corps country director, Dr. Raisa Ruiz, assistant director and Melanie F. Emerson, volunteer, hosted a national seminar on integrated solid waste management and environmental health, April 3-7, 2000 in Panama City. Volunteer Corps consultant, Dr. Francis Arab, environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Health, Miami, trained 125 professionals from the Ministries of Health and the Environment as well as local representatives in handling biomedical waste.