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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Rwandan military medics conduct drill against Ebola

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- The Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) has conducted an exercise to check the preparedness of army medical personnel’s readiness to respond to Ebola outbreak in Rwanda, an army spokesperson said on Friday.

The mock response exercise was conducted on Thursday at Rwanda Military Hospital in Kanombe area on the outskirts of Kigali, featuring imagined Ebola patients, RDF spokesperson Innocent Munyengango told a news briefing in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.

The exercise proved RDF’s readiness to contain the outbreak, he said.

Army medical personnel will continue training and improving their skills against Ebola or any other epidemics, he added.

Muvunyi said Rwanda currently has no suspected or confirmed case of Ebola, but it is imperative to train healthcare providers, stakeholders about treatment and prevention measures.

Since the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda has put in place strict prevention measures against the disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) assessment, Ebola outbreak risk is still very high at the national and regional levels, but the global risk level remains low.

WHO statistics show that as of Tuesday, 247 Ebola cases, including 212 confirmed ones and 35 probable cases, have been reported. The death toll has reached 159, including 124 confirmed and 35 probable cases.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Rwanda launches countrywide tree planting season

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwandan Ministry of Environment Saturday launched a countrywide tree planting season with a total of 43,589 hectares of land set to be covered with trees over the next six months.

The launch took place in Gatenga Sector in Kicukiro District of capital city Kigali, where 180 hectares of agroforestry and 30 hectares of woodlots will be planted and 175 hectares of degraded forest lands will be rehabilitated during this year’s forest planting season.

Rwandan Minister of Cabinet Affairs Marie Solange Kayisire at the launched encouraged all Rwandans to be active in protecting and expanding Rwanda’s forests to build a green and healthy nation.

Tree planting efforts will support Rwanda to achieve the target of covering 30 percent of the country with forests, she said.

She also called on Rwandans to plant ornamental trees in their gardens and fruit trees around their homes and agricultural lands to contribute to food security.

This year’s tree planting season, organized by Ministry of Environment together with several other government partners, is dedicated to increasing community involvement and ownership in landscape restoration for enhanced impact and sustainability.

Throughout the season, a total of 38,119 hectares of agroforestry, 4,800 hectares of classic forestry and 225,440 fruit trees will be planted. In addition, 670 hectares of degraded forests will be rehabilitated countrywide.

Special attention will be given to Kigali and Eastern Province in this year’s tree planting season, due to shortage of forest cover.

Currently, forestry coverage stands at 29.8 percent, of which plantation forests occupy 17.9 percent and natural forests comprise 11.9 percent, Ministry of Environment said in a statement released Saturday.

The 2016 national forest inventory revealed that Rwanda’s forests are degraded and need special attention to improve management of planted trees and rehabilitation of degraded forest lands.

The launch also coincided with the celebration of the 43rd national Tree Planting Day, which drew local residents, government officials, members of security agencies and the private sector to plant trees.

           

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