Dar es Salaam. Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu has urged Tanzanians to take precautionary measures following an outbreak of Ebola in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Republic of Congo (DRC).
This comes after news that at least ten people had died of the disease, while 26 others were being taken care of after contracting the viral disease. The patients were from Magina North Kivu Province bordering Uganda and Rwanda.
The outbreak is the 10th to erupt in DRC in a space of a few years. The last eruption occurred in May in Equator Province in western DRC 2000 kilometre from Magina. Currently, there is no reported case of Ebola in Tanzania, but outbreak of the disease in the neighbouring country has raised the alarm in the country. (Gladys Mbwiga)
“We are concerned since it has occurred in an area that is very close to us than it has ever happened before, so this make us very prone due to movement of people within and outside the country,” said Ms Mwalimu.
The ministry further issued a warning to people from all regions, but especially to those regions bordering DRC, Uganda and Rwanda.
These regions include Mwanza, Kagera, Kigoma, Katavi, Rukwa and Songwe and more caution should be exercised in regions close to the boarder where passengers cross the country from nearby countries.
The ministry has since taken measures after outbreak of Ebola in DRC.
The measures include operational readiness assessment, Costed Ebola Contingency Plan, Rapid Response Teams training and travelers’ entry screening.
In addition to that, the ministry has received Ebola prevention tools from WHO such as Thermo scanners, PPE such as gloves and body bags, the tools are being distributed throughout the country by MSD and also raising awareness through the social media and Medias and Public Health Emergency Operation Centre is on High Alert.
“Also people from Mbeya, Kilimanjaro and Mwanza are being trained on fighting and preventing Ebola, media training to 30 journalists, simulation exercise in the national level and training of people who transfer sample to the laboratory,” she said.
Ms Ummy further called upon regional commissioners and chief Medical officers from all levels to take caution and continue to provide knowledge about Ebola.
She also said that the ministry will continue to work with different sectors in establishing strategies to fight Ebola as well as providing information and educating the community.