East Africa is now under attack of the deadly Ebola. At least 10 cases with three fatalities were reported in Kasese District, western Uganda by yesterday.
This comes after neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo suffered over 2,000 deaths due to the disease, mostly in North Kivu Province.
Unfortunately, efforts to tackle the crisis in DRC have been hampered both by militia attacks on treatment centres and by hostility of some local people to the medical teams.
Reports have it that five workers have been killed and important preventive work, such as vaccination programmes and burials of Ebola victims, has been delayed.
Interactions between the peoples of East Africa and those from the DRC are huge because of the growing cross-border business, intermarriage and other reasons.
Experts explain that the Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, faeces and vomit.
The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. Given all the above facts, it is not enough for East Africa to be alert.
It is time to act. Efforts must be done to stop Ebola from spreading. East Africa must conduct serious screenings at all entry points to ensure that the spread is contained and ultimately controlled. It can be done.