KIGALI - There has been no case of yellow fever in Rwanda since the 1950s.This was disclosed by Dr. Thierry Nyatanyi, the Head of Division, Epidemic Infectious Diseases at Rwanda Biomedical Centre.
He was reacting to a recent 2011 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which said that Rwanda was one of the countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission.
The 2011 WHO report indicates that in East Africa; only Tanzania and part of Kenya are classified as low risk zones. But the whole of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi remain high-risk areas.
The WHO report further specifies that Rwanda is among some African countries that have not changed their prevalence classifications.
In an interview with The New Times, Nyatanyi said Rwanda has not encountered any problem with the disease, revealing that it had requested WHO to conduct an evaluation.
“We requested WHO to do a ground assessment aimed at declaring the nation free from yellow fever,” Dr Nyatanyi said, adding that there is no reason for the country to be put on the list of high risk countries.
He also stated that WHO agreed to carry out the assessment though the time is yet been confirmed.
According to another official in the Ministry of Health, part of the assessment is checking whether Rwanda has upgraded into a vector-control stage.
Yellow fever is categorised among the epidemics transmitted by vectors.
The yellow fever virus is transmitted by a female mosquito bite.
Some of its symptoms include vomiting of blood, headaches, backaches, fever, nausea and slow pulse.