Government boosts Ebola screening

Saturday July 20 2019

 

By Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga amalanga@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. A senior government official said yesterday Tanzania has stepped up its Ebola preparedness.

On Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” a rare designation only used for the gravest epidemics.

Dr Leonard Subi, director of preventive services at the Ministry of Health, told The Citizen that in the past few days, the government bought nine walk-through thermal scanners to be installed at the Songwe, Mwanza and Kilimanjaro airports. Others will be placed at border posts.

“Yesterday (Thursday) we installed two of them at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) Terminal 3…we will soon do the same at the other airports,” noted Dr Subi.

In total, the number of walk-through thermal scanners and hand handler scanners stands at 115, according to him.

“We are committed to strengthening screaning of passengers from borders, but without harassing them as required by International Health Regulations of 2005,” he said.

A top health official at the African Union on Friday warned against curbing travel to and from the Democratic Republic of Congo despite the “high” threat of the spread of the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak on record.

“We want to be sure that the international community and member states in Africa do not impose any restrictions on travels to anyone going into or coming outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Dr John N. Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention