Auckland’s primary healthcare industry prepares for Ebola

21 October 2014

Primary healthcare workers from around the greater Auckland region will attend a seminar on how to prepare for the threat of Ebola, at the University of Auckland next week.

The seminar, ‘Ebola: Everything you thought you would never need to know’ is expected to attract hundreds of GPs, practice nurses, nurse receptionists, practice managers and nurse practitioners as well as urgent care physicians, community pharmacists and paramedics.

It is being run by the University’s Goodfellow Unit* that offers continuing education services to general practitioners and other primary healthcare professionals.

Invited speakers include microbiologist, Dr Siouxsie Wiles who will discuss the non-clinical aspects of Ebola and dispel some of the myths about the virus; Dr Shanika Perera an Auckland medical officer of health, will talk about primary care preparedness and what to do if you suspect someone has Ebola; and clinical microbiologist, Dr Sally Roberts who will present the technical clinical aspects of Ebola such as use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection.

The presentations will be followed by a Question and Answer session, chaired by Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith who leads the Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare at the University of Auckland and holds the Goodfellow Postgraduate Chair.

Registration and information on the seminar are available online at this link. Due to limited capacity and expected demand, people are encouraged to register as early as possible this week.

The seminar ‘Ebola: Everything that you thought  you would never need to know’, is on Wednesday 29 October, at 6.30pm for a 7 pm start, at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences building, 85 Park Road, Grafton (Parking available in the Domain).

The seminar event will also be videotaped and available on the Goodfellow Learning website following the event.


Notes for Editors

1.       The Goodfellow Unit is an independent, dedicated, educational unit based in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, at the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health at the Tamaki Campus.

2.       Ebola seminar link for registration and information;


3.       Speaker biographies:

Dr Siouxsie Wiles studied medical microbiology at the University of Edinburgh and did a PhD in microbiology at the Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology in Oxford. As the golden age of antibiotics draws to a close, Siouxsie merges her twin passions for nasty microbes and bioluminescence (think fireflies and glow worms) to understand and combat the growing danger of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. At the University of Auckland, Siouxsie combines doing world-class research with her interest in demystifying science. She is a blogger, podcaster and radio science commentator and has teamed up with graphic artists to make short animations describing nature’s amazing glowing creatures and the many uses of bioluminescence in science. In 2013 Siouxsie was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Media Communication and the Royal Society of New Zealand Callaghan Medal for her efforts.

Dr Shanika Perera completed her medical training at the School of Medicine, University of Auckland before pursuing public health medicine specialist training in both Auckland and Wellington.  She has worked as a designated Medical Officer of Health at Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) since 2009, where she specialises in communicable disease control.  Her current responsibilities at ARPHS include emerging diseases, pandemic and emergency planning and she is the clinical lead for public health EVD planning in the Auckland region.

Dr Sally Roberts is a graduate of the University of Auckland School of Medicine graduating in 1989. She is a Clinical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician at Auckland City Hospital. Dr Roberts has been on a number of New Zealand Ministry of Health working groups including the MRSA Guidelines Working Group (2002), Chair of the National Antenatal HIV Screening Implementation Advisory Group (2005 onwards), Pandemic Influenza Technical Advisory Group, and Tuberculosis Working Group. Since August 2011 she has been working with the Health Quality and Safety Commission as the Clinical Lead for the national Infection Prevention and Control programmes.

Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith is Head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care and holds the Goodfellow Postgraduate Chair.


For more information please contact:

Suzi Phillips, Media Relations Advisor, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences,

Communications, University of Auckland.

Email or Tel +64 9 923 7383 or Mob 021416396

(Please email or text after hours due to low signal).


For updates on what’s happening at the University of Auckland

follow us on our official social media channels: