USA donates equipment for combating infectious diseases

The United States has donated personal protective equipment as a boost to the government’s efforts to contain spreading of Marburg disease.

According to the US Embassy in Tanzania, the consignment which was handed over to Medical Store Department (MSD) on Thursday contains gowns, aprons, masks, gloves, spectacles and caps.

For the first time in the history of Tanzania, an outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) was reported by the Ministry of Health on March 21 2023.

The Ministry declared the outbreak in Bukoba District, Kagera region, North Western Tanzania.

Following the outbreak, the ministry issued an advisory travel guide to all departing and domestic travelers from the region to the virus and other measures geared to contain the infectious disease.

Just a few weeks after it was initially discovered, Tanzania has successfully controlled the outbreak of the Marburg virus disease (MVD) and prevented its spread, the government has said.

Two weeks ago, Minister for Health, Ummy Mwalimu told reporters on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam that it was essential for the public to remain vigilant in order to prevent new infections, end stigma and rehabilitate but also reintegrate survivors.

“Let me reassure Tanzanians and the international community that Bukoba, Kagera and Tanzania are all safe from MVD.” So, let us continue with our activities and journey fearlessly.

“Even in Maruku and Kanyangereko Wards, where the disease has so far been reported, it is stable, and all development activities, including schools, markets, churches, and mosques, are continuing as usual,” she said.

Ms Mwalimu added that they anticipate the outbreak, which only affected a small portion of the Kagera Region, to end soon in compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Ministry of Health announced the outbreak on 21st March 2023, after laboratory tests were carried out following reports of cases and deaths in Maruku and Kanyangereko Wards of Bukoba District Council in Kagera Region.

Tanzania’s National Public Health Laboratory analysed samples to determine the cause of illness after eight people developed symptoms including fever, vomiting, bleeding and renal failure.

Five of the eight cases, including a health worker died and the remaining three were receiving treatment. A total of 212 contacts were identified and are being monitored.

When the disease was discovered, Ms Mwalimu said that the Kagera Regional Commissioner’s office and the entire community have continued to take action to deal with and control it.

“The disease has not spread past the two wards of Bukoba Rural that were impacted,” Ms Mwalimu said.

She stated that there were no new patients or deaths as of yesterday. Furthermore, one of the three patients, a 26-year-old man, was discharged in good health.

“I hope that the community will welcome him and work with him in his daily activities.” “Two admitted patients are improving significantly in special facilities,” she said.

Of the 212 monitored contacts, 35 have completed a 21-day follow-up, and another 21 days of rigorous monitoring have been performed in the affected areas, according to Ms Mwalimu.

She said, “Because the MVD in the country has been managed in time, this is a very excellent report for us, the Ministry of Health, the government, and the nation as a whole.”

Minister Mwalimu said the government still encourages the public and especially the Kagera Region to continue taking precautions, control the disease and prevent new infections in the community.

She reiterated that if anyone in the community exhibits symptoms of high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, bleeding, or weakness, should report it immediately by dialing the 199 toll-free numbers in order to get the help of experts and take appropriat…

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