EDITORIAL: Leave Rwanda out and instead fight Ebola

The Goma-Gisenyi border is one of the busiest crossings in the world with tens of thousands crossing the border every day.

With the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and some cases discovered in Goma, the border is a nerve centre to prevent the disease from crossing into Rwanda.


What is most surprising, however, is the media coverage of the issue. Instead of reporting on the progress in controlling the disease and measures put in place to prevent its propagation, it is all about Rwanda.


It is Rwanda this, Rwanda that; it is as if some people are impatient for Rwanda to be roped into the Ebola equation. It all began with the Uganda Ministry of Health announcing that an Ebola victim who died in Uganda had also travelled to Gisenyi.


The World Health Organisation not only came forward to refute the allegations and even pulled down the story it had published and even deleted a website specially dedicated  to Ebola so as not to be associated with "fake news".

So, when a third Ebola case was discovered in Goma, it was natural that Rwanda increases vigilance by upgrading its control measures. The media was quick to announce that Rwanda had closed its borders with DRC.

When the issue was resolved a few hours later, it was not what Rwanda had been working on to better control the crossings, the story was that: “Rwanda had ‘denied’ it had closed its borders”. It was not about Rwanda building a mega handwashing structure in record time that allows travellers to disinfect before proceeding with their journey.

Rwanda is not the source of the disease, and despite its several appearances in two neighbouring countries, it has always managed to keep it at bay. Is that the reason some people are disappointed and always manage to put the words “Ebola” and “Rwanda” in the same paragraph?

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