HEALTH - THE government of Rwanda has vowed to prevent Ebola, a deadly disease that is prevalent in west Kasai region of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo from reaching Rwandans especially those living along DRC border.
Innocent Nyaruhirira, the State Minister in charge of HIV/Aids and other infectious diseases said this September 27 while on a visit to the Western Province to monitor the implementation of the control measures of Ebola as well evaluate the fight against the current cholera outbreak in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts.
“I’m here to evaluate the implementation of the prevention plans we designed to cut Ebola risks from reaching our people. We have designed forms which we shall use at the Congolese border through the help of the World Health Organization, Immigration and police,” Nyaruhirira said.
He downplayed the current fear residents in the Western Province have of catching Ebola from Congolese refugees fleeing from the war.
Asked about the current cholera outbreak in the two districts where three people are reported to have died, the health minister said he had visited the area and everything possible was being done to wipe out the disease.
“Fortunately, the outbreak is not in the recent flooded area of Bigogwe and Kanzenze sectors”, he said adding that the outbreak in both districts and in sectors on the shores of Lake Kivu were strongly related to consumption of dirty water from Lake Kivu.
“Unlike Ebola, cholera is an easy disease to cure but very contagious and can kill in a short time where there is no sufficient treatment. Its causes are connected to poor hygiene. It should therefore be every one’s responsibility to reduce risks of such out breaks by improving Hygiene in homes” the minister advised.
He said that the ministry has equipped health centres in both districts to provide adequate treatment and promised there would be no more deaths.
He called upon local leaders to increase awareness among the people by encouraging them to boil drinking water, improve hygiene in homes such as having pit latrines and washing hands before eating.
According to Rubavu District officials, residents along Lake Kivu had resorted to drinking lake water when the recent heavy rains blocked and destroyed the water pipes.
However, the district together with ELECTROGAZ has since done everything possible to ensure clean water is available to all people.