Up to 1,300 Police officers are to be trained in handling people suspected of having come into contact with persons suspected of having Ebola symptoms or diagnosed with the virus.
This is one of the latest measures taken as the country steps up its capacity to deal with any Ebola outbreak, which includes dedication of a health facility in Rulindo District that would receive any suspected case.
About 400 officers are from the City of Kigali alone.
Health minister Agnes Binagwaho, while addressing Police officers at the Rwanda National Police headquarters in Kacyiru on Wednesday, said the plan was part of a broader national Ebola response preparedness.
The deadly virus has so far claimed over 5,000 people in West Africa.
“This is a preparedness and response measure. The training will focus on traceability and investigative skills in Ebola morbidity suspicion. Police officers will be equipped with response skills and given the necessary kit,” Dr Binagwaho said.
Suspected patients, she said, would later be transferred to Remera-Mbogo hospital in Rulindo District where for specialised care.
“Given the nature of investigative instincts, Police would assist in identifying people who might have had contact with a suspected Ebola victim to help us minimise spread,” she said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza, said the Force was always prepared to intervene in such situations.
“Police is ever ready to offer such services as it is one of our prerogative obligations – to protect citizens,” Munyuza said.
The training of Police officers will supplement other measures already in place, including screening incoming passengers at Kigali International Airport and at all the border posts.
More than 3,400 healthcare workers have so far trained in handling the deadly Ebola disease in case of an outbreak, the Ministry of Health says.
Rwanda has not recorded any Ebola case, while the country has sent medics to the embattled West African states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to help contain the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.