Kenya on alert after Guinea Ebola outbreak

March 28, 2014 7:32 am
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Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told Capital FM News that the ministry has stepped up surveillance to ensure that the disease in not brought into the country/FILE
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told Capital FM News that the ministry has stepped up surveillance to ensure that the disease in not brought into the country/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – The Ministry of Health has issued an Ebola alert and urged all those who have visited Guinea in the last three weeks to go for screening.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told Capital FM News that the ministry has stepped up surveillance to ensure that the disease in not brought into the country.

He further stated that the government has instituted measures to ensure any cases that may come into the country are quickly detected and necessary steps taken to avoid further spread.

“The Ministry of Health in Kenya has been notified by the World Health Organisation of an outbreak of Ebola Haemorrhagic fever in Guinea West Africa. The affected districts are Goekedou, Macenta and Kissidougou in the South Eastern part of the country,” he said.

“As of 25 March 2014, a total of 86 suspected cases including 60 deaths had been reported. Thirteen of the suspected cases have been laboratory confirmed. Following this outbreak, the Ministry of Health in Guinea has instituted effective prevention and control measures to ensure that the outbreak does not spread to other parts of the country and world,” he stated.

He indicated that if any case is detected, those affected are required to reveal when they travelled to Guinea, areas they visited and how long they stayed there.

“The National taskforce has been re-activated and is advising the government on the necessary measures to be taken.

The people affected are also required to inform health officials if they have any symptoms that have been listed. All cases that will be considered as suspected cases will be isolated immediately to provide room to rule out Ebola HF,” he said.

He pointed out that symptoms of Ebola include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat followed by abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and in some cases both internal and external bleeding.

He stated that the Ministry of Health is very well prepared to detect and immediately respond to any Ebola HF.

“Following several outbreaks of Haemorrhagic fever in our neighbouring countries in the last three years, the Ministry of Health has built a very strong capacity in terms of training people on how to identify, investigate, treat and control any outbreak,” he said.

He emphasised that the country has also stocked enough drugs for supportive management in all hospitals. All ports of entry as well as all major hospitals have an adequate amount of isolation facilities and personnel protective equipment.

“Our viral haemorrhagic fever laboratory and KEMRI is also very well prepared to test any suspected cases and has been testing all suspected cases in the country as well as assisting some of our neighbouring countries,” he said.

“As a Ministry, we would like to assure the country that all measures are being taken to ensure that no case of Ebola HF comes into the country.”

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