By Waswa Tenywa
After the announcement of Ebola virus disease outbreak in the neighboring democratic republic of Congo, Uganda through the ministry of health have undertaken measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus in the country.
Among the measures undertaken, the ministry has started screening of travelers at Entebbe international airport and boarder entry points were all travelers from Democratic republic of congo (DRC) are being screened at the health desk for Ebola signs and symptoms. According the ministry, the screening targets all passengers who have had a history of travelling to DRC.
Also all passengers ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE a screening form and an information leaflet about Ebola and contact numbers of surveillance officers are given to all non-symptomatic passengers who may require help later.
According to the statement signed by Dr. Henry Mwebesa Ag.Director General health services at the ministry of health in kampala,a private medical centre in the airport has been equipped to provide counseling and clinical screening of all suspects adding that even a standby ambulance with a driver and relevant protective gear has been provided by the civil aviation authority (CAA) and is available twenty-four- seven.
Dr. Mwebesa says the ministry has instructed leaders in the districts of kampala, kisoro, kanungu, kasese, bundibugyo, Hoima, Buliisa, Nebbi, Arua, Maracha, Koboko, Kibaale, and kabaale to reactivate the district task forces in preparations for any possible outbreak. These taskforces are assigned to conduct a rapid assessment on the risks of importation of Ebora VIRUS Disease through their districts, review and update districts on Ebora Virus Disease Preparedness and response plans, and establish ground crossing requirements(temperature screening/ verbal screening/ hand washing) to limit the risk of EVD Importation while avoiding unnecessary interence in trade and travel.
The ministry has now calledupon all travelers to co-operate with the immigration, health and security officials to ensure effective screening at all entry points and advised the public to report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility.
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