Mwalimu upbeat on Ebola spread control measures

23Sep 2018
James Kandoya
DAR ES SALAAM
Guardian On Sunday
Mwalimu upbeat on Ebola spread control measures

THE government has asked religious leaders to be in the forefront in spreading the prevention of the deadly Ebola disease.

The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu.

Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) has until September 16, killed 75 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu made this appeal yesterday in Dar es Salaam after an Ebola awareness walk to emphasize and increase awareness of the public on the disease.

She directed regional and district medical officers to set isolation facilities to deal with people suspected or confirmed to have been affected with Ebola.

The event also witnessed the launch of the EVD contingency plan and special album produced by local artistes to emphasise and inform the public about the deadly disease.

 Mwalimu said religious leaders and the general public need to play a role in the fight against the disease.

“Although there were no cases of EVD reported so far in the country, we are still at risk because we border the DRC,” the minister noted.

 Increased awareness on the disease can help to prevent people inadvertently stumble on the disease, citing cases like Sierra Leone and Liberia that did well to contain outbreaks.

“Tanzania has recently been named as one among countries on the right track in controlling the outbreak of diseases including cholera and ebola,” she further noted.

WHO country representative Dr Adielle Onyenze said the ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the DRC remains active.

 

The outbreak was dangerous due to lack of access to areas in which there is an active conflict and significant population movements between DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

 

Commenting about Tanzania, Dr Onyenze said it remains at risk of cross-border transmission of ebola, because it borders and has significant human traffic with DRC.

He acknowledged government efforts in preventing the outbreak of the diseases by putting control measures at border posts.

“We all have a role to play because we are all at risk. Ebola can affect anyone,” he said.

Representing the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), the director of social services and head of its health department, Jovin Baraza commended the move saying it was a good step to prevent the disease.

“It is very important to involve all stakeholders in the fight against the disease because it has multiple impacts in different spheres including economic activity,” he asserted.

Kigoma Regional Commissioner Brigadier General Emannuel Maganga (rtd) said everything was under control. There was surveillance and patrols in all entry points to signal any disease symptoms among those using border points, he said.

On August 1, a new outbreak of the ebola virus was reported in the DRC, a week since the last outbreak was declared over.