Swine Flu anti viral consignment arrives

KIGALI - The Ministry of Health earlier this week, received 14,256 treatment doses of Tamiflu and 75 sets of personal protective equipment worth Rwf270 million from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

KIGALI - The Ministry of Health earlier this week, received 14,256 treatment doses of Tamiflu and 75 sets of personal protective equipment worth Rwf270 million from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the Director General of TRAC Plus, Prof. Michael Kramer, the donation comes at a right time when the country is strengthening its preparedness and response plan to influenza A H1N1.

“Rwanda has put in place mechanisms to tackle the outbreak should it happen in the country,” Kramer is quoted as saying in a statement from the ministry.

The statement also notes that this donation is part of the WHO regional and global anti-viral stockpile.

“The personal protective equipment will help in protecting first response staff and the Tamiflu can be used to treat patients infected with Influenza A (H1N1),” the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Jack Abdoulie Dodou said.

In relation to preparation, government has activated Rapid response Teams at all levels, set up influenza sentinel-surveillance sites in each province, availed necessary logistics and supplies as well as the laboratory network for testing the deadly influenza.

According to the concept document, the ministry has also collaborated with the Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority (RARDA) for surveillance of swine flu in animals and unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness.

WHO statistics show that as of yesterday, 53 countries had officially reported 15,510 cases of H1N1 infection with 99 deaths.

The Africa Regional Office of the World Health Organization (AFRO) also recently launched a programme to combat the potential spread of the disease to Africa. No cases of the influenza have been reported in Africa.

Prof. Kramer recently revealed that some symptoms of the influenza include vomiting and sneezing among others, adding that individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

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