Tanzania boosts Ebola response in border regions

Wednesday May 23 2018

A health official uses a thermometer to measure

A health official uses a thermometer to measure the temperature of passengers disembarking a plane at an airport in Mbandaka, DR Congo, on May 19, 2018. Tanzania will screen people entering the country. AFP PHOTO | JUNIOR KANNAH 

By BEATRICE MATERU
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Tanzania has intensified its surveillance at all points of entry following the Ebola outbreak that has so far killed 27 people in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday said everyone entering the country will be screened.

“As the neighbouring country, we are taking preventive measures in case the virus spread to our borders,” said Dr Faustine Ndugulile, the deputy Health minister.

“We have also set special health facility zones in communities near Lake Tanganyika as it borders with affected country DRC,” he said.

Border regions

Dr Ndugulile said the ministry has dispatched a team of experts to the six regions bordering DR Congo to help in surveillance and control.

“We currently have in place the National Ebola and Marburg Preparedness and Response Contingency Plan,” he said.

The government has also improved its detection capacity including at the National Laboratory Quality Assurance Training Centre in Dar es Salaam and Mbeya.

"But, so far there are no reported or suspected cases of Ebola in the country,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation on Wednesday warned that the deadly virus outbreak in the DR Congo had a clear "potential to expand", adding that it aimed to vaccinate 10,000 people within a month.

East African countries have been on high alert on Ebola outbreak.

DR Congo declared the outbreak of the virus in a remote village near Bikoro in the northwestern Equateur Province two weeks ago.