"I wish to reassure all Kenyans and our visitors that we do not
have any cases of Ebola and indeed the ministry has undertaken
and continues to implement the preparedness measures," she said.
Kenya has been on high alert since last week when a
five-year-old boy and his grandmother from neighboring Uganda
succumbed to Ebola after a brief visit to the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) where there is an outbreak.
The ministry of health said that surveillance had been
intensified at ports of entry to prevent spread of Ebola into
Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate
that more than 2,000 people have been infected with Ebola and
about 1,400 have succumbed to the highly contagious hemorrhagic
fever since it broke out in DRC in August 2018.
authorities respond to fears of Ebola outbreak
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian health authorities on
Thursday allayed fears of an Ebola outbreak, saying response
strategies are in place.
"There should not be any panic because no cases have been
reported in the rest of the EAC (East Africa of Community) bloc
except Uganda," said Mohamed Kambi, chief medical officer in the
Tanzanian Ministry of Health.
He told a news conference in the northern tourist city of
Arusha that cross-border health professionals all over the EAC
region are on the ground to monitor the situation.
The EAC groups Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania,
Kambi said Tanzania will fully cooperate with her neighbors
and the international community to ensure that the deadly
hemorrhagic fever is contained in the affected countries and
does not spill over to the country.
He said experts have been deployed to key areas along
Tanzania’s borders with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) to enhance checks on incoming people.
On June 15, Tanzanian Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu warned
that the country was at high risk of an Ebola outbreak after the
virus killed two people in neighboring Uganda.
Uganda’s health ministry said last week that the second
person infected with the Ebola virus has died after a family
exposed to the disease quietly crossed the border from the DRC.
"Tanzania is at high risk of the Ebola virus outbreak and we
are doing all we can to respond to the outbreak," said Mwalimu
in an interview with Xinhua from Mwanza, on the shores of Lake
The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week the Ebola
outbreak in the DRC does not qualify as an international threat,
despite the spread of the virus to neighboring Uganda.
Ebola spreads among humans through close contact with the
blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person.
The current outbreak in the DRC has killed more than 1,200
Between 2014 and 2016, an Ebola epidemic that struck mainly
in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone left more than 11,300 people
South Sudan beefs up
border surveillance to impede Ebola threat
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan has tightened up its border scrutiny
campaign against Ebola after an outbreak of the viral
hemorrhagic fever disease was reported recently in neighboring
Laze Geoffrey Wajaras, a public health officer in Nimule,
said a border rapid response team comprising ten healthcare
workers have set up a screening room at the border entrance as
commuters enter the east Africa’s youngest immigration offices
through Uganda’s border town of Elegu.
Wajaras told Xinhua on Thursday that the good cooperation
between security officials at the border made it relatively easy
for them to quickly screen the passengers to impede the
"If a passenger is screened with a normal body temperature of
35.5 Celsius you are allowed to go, but if the temperature is
less than 35.5 it is retaken.
"Like if it is 33.5 Celsius we retake it," said Wajaras.
If a passenger temperature is greater than 37.8 Celsius, the
person will be referred from a primary screening point to the
secondary screening point for rest and retake, he said.
Wajaras said the outbreak of Ebola in Uganda has created a
public health scare and put the war-torn country at high risk of
the hemorrhagic fever, his health team is ensuring that all
passengers must be screened in an effort to enhance the border
"Before entering the Nimule primary screening sites, every
traveler has to wash hands and after washing then they all queue
in a line with a space in between them so that there is no
contact," Wajaras told Xinhua.
He observed that it does not mean that if a traveler’s
temperature is abnormal, then the person is an Ebola suspect,
but it could be malaria or typhoid.
He said such cases are referred to isolation site established
at the Nimule teaching hospital for a thorough examination.
Emilo Igga Alimas, Pageri County commissioner, who chaired
health cluster and security meeting in the areas, told Xinhua
that they have established three screening sites, one at the
main border point, one at the river port, and one at the
airstrip site as a measure to enhancing the country’s overall
preparedness for epidemic crisis.
"We have three screening sites that are working from morning
starting from 6: 00 am to 9: 00 pm local time, every day and in
a week we could screen over 35,000 through these entry points,"
South Sudan recently launched its country’s updated second
national plan on how to stop the virus from gaining a foothold
in the country, during which the country appealed for urgent
humanitarian assistance of 12 million U.S. dollars to boost its
campaign against Ebola.
The highly contagious virus’ symptoms are manifested mainly
by fever, diarrhea, generalized pain and in many cases internal
and external bleeding.
According to World Health Organization, South Sudan has set
up a 72-hour outbreak response and containment plan and vaccine
readiness at the 25 screening sites at border enter points
across the country.
Riek Gai Kok, South Sudan’s health minister, said the
confirmation of Ebola in Uganda’s western district of Kasese has
created a public health concern and the young country is
tightening its health care system in a bid to keep bugs at bay
away from the country.
"We have deployed well-trained rapid response team at all
border entry points to do the screening of all passengers,
including the nationals that are returning from refugee
settlements in Uganda and DRC, respectively, to prevent the
possible spreading of the virus after its outbreak," Kok told
Xinhua on Thursday.