MoH directs health authorities to hold regular awareness Ebola meetings

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–Government has directed all hospital authorities, including health posts, to hold regular clinical meetings to raise awareness on the deadly Ebola disease.


Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of infected individuals, animals or dead bodies. It has broken out in West Africa and countries affected by the outbreak are Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.


Health Minister, Joseph Kasonde, further says a 24-hour surveillance at all busy points of entry in the country should be manned by health care providers to screen the traveling public, especially those from affected areas.


Dr Kasonde in a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today said government would procure thermal scanners for detection of febrile illnesses at entry points.


He disclosed that a national Ebola rapid response team has been instituted comprising all stakeholders and a national epidemic preparedness committee has put Ebola top of its agenda alongside re-activated the provincial and district response teams.


He said Zambia has got a laboratory at the University of Zambia Great East Campus’ School of medicine to test and confirm Ebola.


The minister added that ambulances have been stationed at major entry points such as airports, printed information education communication materials and media alerts in order to sensitise the people in the country.


Last week, the minister clarified that Zambia has not banned entry into the country of all individuals coming from Ebola-hit countries but has merely issued a travel advisory.


Dr Kasonde clarified that a travel advisory is not a ban but a travel advice restricting not only nationals of the affected countries but anyone traveling from the affected countries into Zambia.


He added that the travel advisory is a precautionary measure to ensure that Ebola does not  reach Zambia.


He assured that anyone suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus will be quarantined.


A statement posted on the Ministry of Health website on Saturday said Zambia would restrict entry of travellers from countries affected by the Ebola virus and would ban Zambians from travelling to those countries.


“All delegates from any of the countries affected by Ebola virus disease are restricted from entering Zambia until further notice,” the statement reads.


Dr Kasonde added that any Zambian arriving from those countries would be “thoroughly screened and quarantined”, adding that no further travel by Zambians to such countries would be allowed.