The Ministry of Health says the country is prepared to handle any possible outbreak of Ebola.
Ministry of Health Clinical Specialist for Communicable Diseases Callitus Kaayunga revealed that the Ministry has established the national Ebola treatment Centre at Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka where a team of health personnel has been trained to handle any possible case of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Dr. Kaayunga said the country has also put up measures to prevent entry of Ebola into the country from western African countries were the disease is high.
He said the country’s preparedness to combat Ebola has also been decentralized with more EVD holding centres and isolation facilities having been established in all the districts countrywide.
He said government through the treasury, had released about K10.7 million for the Ebola preparedness in Zambia, though the country had not recorded any case of the disease.
Speaking when he gave a presentation on the Ebola preparedness in Zambia during the EVD orientation of media personnel Dr Kaayunga said the Ministry of health is not sitting idle to wait for the disease outbreak but is ready and alert to handle it.
“The ministry of Health has put in place stringent measures to ensure any possible outbreak of EVD is combated such as government establishing Maina Soko Military Hospital as the national treatment centre,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Davy Chikamata has called on the media to sensitize the public on the Ebola virus.
Dr Chikamata said government was on a high alert to combat any possible case of EVD and urged the media to help the masses in understanding the disease.
Dr Chikamata said it was the duty of all stakeholders such as health personnel and the media to firmly inform and educate the masses about Ebola.
“The fact that we have countries that have continued to report cases and deaths should be reason enough for all of us not to be complacent but maintain an active role in our respective sectors. We are doing our part as a health sector, the media needs to do its part consistently too,” he said.
The estimated number of illness and deaths in the three hardest hit countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to World Health Organisation, has grown from 21,373 to 24,701 and 8,468 to 10,194 since the outbreak of the disease in West Africa in 2014.
Dr Chikamata said the media orientation was one way of contributing to the preparedness and implementation of the national rapid response and preparedness plan.
The Ministry of Health was targeting specific audiences such as health workers, school-going children, traditional leaders and the media to ensure more EVD information was disseminated.
Ministry of Health Director Disease, Surveillance, Control and Research, Elizabeth Chizema said government would continue coordinating activities under EVD rapid response and preparedness team.
The media personnel orientation workshop on Ebola has participants drawn from five provinces namely Lusaka, southern, western, central and eastern.