Dar at risk of Ebola outbreak: report

Monday September 10 2018


By Alfred Zacharia @azacharia3 azacharia@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. There is a reason to worry for Dar es Salaam residents considering a warning from Points of Entry (PoE) that the country’s largest city is at risk of Ebola out-break.

The statistics presented by the head of health services in the minis-try of Health, Community Develop-ment, Gender, Elderly and Children, Mr Remidius Kakulu, over the week-end reveal that, more than 60 per cent of passengers from DRC Congo screened at PoEs last month reside in Dar es Salaam.

“The total number of passengers from DRC in August was 1,526 in various points of entry, but Dar es Salaam was their major destination,” he said. According to him, Dar es Salaam faces a major risk of the out-break because majority of the people from the neighbouring country are destined to the city, which receives thousands of people daily.

“Symptoms of Ebola can appear between two and 21 days after being infected that is why were are assum-ing that, those who came from DRC in past 21 days might be carrying Ebola viruses in their bodies,” he noted. Mr Kakulu added that, most of the passengers from DR to Dar es Salaam are staying in hotels.

“We plan to meet hotel owners through their associations so that we can create awareness about the dis-ease and how to prevent others from falling victim of the killer disease,” he said. Other regions, which are at risk include Mwanza, Kagera, Kigoma, Katavi, Rukwa and Songwe.

According to him, the Julius Nyerere International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport were at the highest risk while inter-national aircraft; Precision Airways (NBO-ZNZ), Kenya Airways, Ethi-opian Airlines, Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet to-and-fro Zimbabwe were the likeliest points from which the viral disease can spread. He, howev-er, declared that there was no Ebola in the country.

To prevent the viral disease and other epidemics in airports, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Author-ity through a Collaborative Arrange-ment for the Prevention and Man-agement of Public Health in Civil Aviation has started to evaluate air-ports if measures to prevent diseases are well implemented.