Ministry explains Ebola preparedness

Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango says the ministry, with technical guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), is implementing activities in preparedness for an Ebola outbreak.

 Addressing the press in Lilongwe yesterday, the minister said the aim of the activities are to prevent Ebola from spreading to Malawi and prepare the country to handle any case should it be diagnosed in the country.

Scanning for Ebola

He said: “In the unlikely event that Ebola is detected in the country, the ministry is ready to manage the situation and it is in this view that the ministry will continue working with WHO to monitor the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.”

Mhango said both Kamuzu International Airport [KIA] and Chileka International Airport have had renovations of isolation rooms and orientation of airport staff done, as well as personal protection equipment supplied.

The UK Department for International Development (DfID), through Unicef has also provided Malawi with £478 000 (about K394 million) to help with Ebola prevention and preparedness.

 The funds will, among other things, be used to train 500 healthcare workers in border districts and ports of entry including Dowa, Lilongwe and Blantyre.

According to WHO representative in Malawi Dr Nonhlanhla Dlamini, as of August 4 2019, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola in the DRC was 2 763, including 1 849 deaths (case fatality ratio of 67 percent).

She said of the total Ebola cases reported, 57 percent are females and 28 percent are children below the age of 18. WHO has since declared the Ebola outbreak in the DRC a public health emergency of international concern.

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