Experts conduct ecological study on Marburg Virus Disease

A SECTORAL team comprising experts from different ministries are conducting ecological study on the originality of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD), which has claimed lives of six Tanzanians.

Members of the team come from President’s Office –Regional Administration and Local Governments (PO-RALG), Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health (MoH) and other key sectors.

Deputy Director for Emergency Preparedness from the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Prudence Constantine, explained that the team will collect samples from domestic animals and wildlife and conduct inclusive studies with communities in Kyerwa, Muleba and Bukoba DC.

“The aim is to establish the relationship between animals and humans and establish if the MVD originated from within the country or was imported from neighbouring countries,” he noted.

On June 2nd this year, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu tasked Research Institutions in the country, including the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), to assist in finding a scientific solution on the originality of the MVD, that claimed lives of six Tanzanians.

Equally, she directed Councils in the country to set aside a budget for future pandemic emergency.

Addressing leaders at the Kagera Regional Commissioner’s office, Ms Mwalimu said “ the government must get scientific answers on the disease. Was it imported from other countries or did it originate from the cave bats? We must get scientific answers.”

Ms Mwalimu thanked development partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Africa CDC, among others, for their collaboration and commitment which enabled Tanzania to control the Marburg disease within a short period of 42 days.

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