GOVERNMENT has trained health personnel in various parts of the country on how to identify, contain and respond to cases of Ebola.
Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Government has not closed border posts owing to the threat of the disease but is watching the situation through identified isolation facilities at points of entry and exit.
This is contrary to assertions by director of Disease Prevention and Control at the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office for Africa Francis Kasolo, who said Zambia is not adequately prepared to handle Ebola.
“We have a response team in place should there be a suspected or confirmed case of Ebola. The team has visited each of the major points of entry. The Ministry of Health has put measures in place and there is no need for apprehension,” Dr Kasonde said.
The minister said Government has also embarked on awareness campaigns in various communities on how people can identify symptoms of the viral disease.
He urged communities to quickly report cases of the disease should they notice symptoms to health centres.
“Individuals should also take responsibility to report cases of Ebola. This should not only be left to Government alone. This is a very serious disease and calls for all to take responsibility,” Dr Kasonde said.
He said 224 deaths were recorded out of the 419 confirmed cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
Other confirmed Ebola cases include Guinea, which had 427 suspected and confirmed cases out of which 319 deaths were recorded.
Ebola is a contagious severe acute viral illness which has a 90 percent death rate.
Ebola symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and a sore throat.
This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.