Rwanda steps up measures mitigate Ebola spread

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Rwanda’s Ministry of Health has put up in place measures to curb the spread of Ebola virus into the country, following an outbreak of the deadly disease at Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Goma is home to more than a million people and lies directly between DRC and Rwanda. Until now, three people have been reported dead. The pandemic was first detected at DR Congo’s North Kivu last year August before spreading to the South.
Some of the measures are a vigorous creation of community awareness, mobilization, surveillance, vaccination of lead workers and creation of External Ventricular Drain (EVD) centres. The government has also implored its citizens to avoid unnecessary visits to the neighbouring country as it heightens inspection at the border to watch keenly the moving in and out by the people.
“The ministry of health reminds citizens and residents not to make unnecessary border crossings and travels to areas in neighbouring countries where Ebola has been reported. We also advise that we avoid unwarranted accommodation of travellers who are coming from Ebola-hit areas,” said the ministry of health.
On Monday the ministry started assessing the preparedness of medics at different hospitals to handle the situation in case it hits. The process is set to end on August 9. Over 20,000 people have been trained among them being police officers, medical personnel and Red Cross volunteers in preparation to deal with a possible outbreak. Frontline workers have been immunized plus approval of Recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Vaccination, an experimental drug to protect the drug. The citizens have also been urged to wash their hands frequently, avoid contact with blood and body fluids and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility.
“As Rwanda remains without any Ebola case registered to date, we again remind everyone to seriously consider prevention measures. We continue to intensify the surveillance at all points of entry as well as at the community level to make sure we prevent this disease from crossing our borders and in case it does we are able quickly to treat the infected person and avoid any spread,” said the ministry spokesperson Malick Kayumba.
The third casualty of the deadly virus at Goma was reported a few hours after the second victim was announced dead. The one-year-old girl is said to be the daughter of the second patient who health officials said died on Tuesday night. The first death in the region was reported on July 16 which left the residents in panic mode. Yesterday, doctors in South Kive, a province that borders the Ebola Epidemic in Eastern DRC isolated 15 people feared to have contacted the disease. Since the second outbreak of Ebola in the Central African country over 1500 people have passed on.

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27