Govt stresses precautions against Ebola

THE government has called upon Tanzanians to continue taking all necessary precautions against the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) following an outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Uganda.

Health authorities in the country have also confirmed the death of a Tanzanian doctor, Dr Mohamed Ali Hafidh who was pursuing his studies in Uganda.

As of September 29 this year, there were 54 confirmed   cases and 25 deaths.

A statement availed to the media by the Ministry of Health said that it received the report of the death of Dr Hafidh yesterday from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Community.

Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu stressed that the outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Uganda pose a huge health risk to Tanzania due to social and economic interactions through official and unofficial borders.

“I would like to inform the public that so far there is no reported Ebola case in the country, but people should take all necessary precautions to prevent the disease,” she said.

Tanzania’s health authorities had already resolved to intensify the epidemic preparedness in all regions by strengthening the Rapid Response Team at all levels, including conducting capacity building training.

Ms Ummy Mwalimu also directed every Regional Commissioner to prepare a contingency plan to control the epidemic among other measures.

“Regional Commissioners should think over if his or her area gets a patient, what ambulance, driver, nurse would go to pick the patient and where such patient would be sent for care. They must also think of whether the needed medical devices are in place,” she insisted.

The minister also directed regional leaders to prepare special areas for isolation of contacts as well as places to bury people who die from disease without compromising the dignity of the dead as per international guidelines.

Furthermore, the minister ordered regional administrators to strengthen monitoring and follow-ups on contacts.

“It is their duty to ensure they make follow-ups through their Regional Medical Officers (RMOs). I want them to effectively supervise testing of travellers entering the country,” she insisted.

The government further underscored the need for each region to formulate guidelines for the regional Rapid Response Team.

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