KIGALI - The government has come up with new mechanisms, including a hotline, in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus from neighbouring countries. Ebola has killed 20 people, including three medics, in the latest outbreak in Uganda, which shares borders with Rwanda.
There was also an earlier outbreak in the DR Congo.
The Ministry of Health issued a statement yesterday announcing new measures put in place to prevent any spread of Ebola into Rwanda. Among the new measures, the ministry said it’s soon going to set up a free telephone hotline that will be operating nationwide for information sharing on Ebola.
On Tuesday, ministry of health officials met with local and international health partners and epidemic experts to review and devise more precaution measures. ‘An Ebola hotline will be put in place to ease the communication with the public and all stakeholders,’ the statement indicated.
The government also has set up isolation facilities in all medical centers the border posts with Uganda and DRC. ‘Isolation facilities at all medical centers close to the border posts are being set up and whoever will be suspected to be carrying the virus will be put in those isolation cubicles,’ it said.
The ministry has also trained a mobile medical team that will be in charge of emergency intervention in case the outbreak spills over to Rwanda.
The team will be on alert 24 hours and would also be in charge of offering timely treatment, in case of a spill over.
During Tuesday’s meeting, local and international health partners including epidemic experts agreed to work together in implementing vital preventive measures. They all concurred that TRAC Plus, the Center for Infectious Diseases, should coordinate the preparedness plan, provide training to health professionals and strengthen communication to the public and health professionals.
The State Minister in charge of HIV/Aids and other Epidemics Dr Innocent Nyaruhirira who chaired the meeting called for strong collaborative efforts and information sharing among all the stakeholders.
Partners that attended the meeting include representatives of TRAC Plus, National Referral Laboratory, the Office of Immigration, World Health Organisation (WHO) the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Great Lakes Initiative on Aids (GLIA) and UNHCR.