All necessary precautions for Ebola in place: Muruoa

15 Sep 2014 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 15 SEP (NAMPA) - All necessary precautions to prevent the outbreak of Ebola in Namibia are now in place, the Deputy Director of Epidemiology in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Clementine Muruoa says.
Muruoa who delivered an update on the country’s preparedness for the Ebola Viral Disease here on Monday said Namibia has previously managed and treated cases of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF). These include cases of Dengue fever cases from Angola treated at the Windhoek Central Hospital in June 2014 and Congo-Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever cases from time to time at places such as Rehoboth and Gobabis.
“All necessary precautions are in place. Vigilance is important but there is no reason to panic,” she said.
Muruoa indicated that the Health Ministry has active disease surveillance mechanisms in place, with disease surveillance officers appointed in every region.
Standard Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) guidelines are also in place, and the National Health Emergency Management Committee (NHEMC) has been holding weekly meetings on Ebola preparedness since June 2014.
Muruoa further noted that the ministry is considering sending staff to assist in the affected countries, although she did not specify when this would happened or how many staff members might be sent to help.
Coordinators have also attended World Health Organisation (WHO) training on Ebola in Congo Brazzaville, while similar training for immigration and customs officials has been completed.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training of health workers and training of Health Workers on the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) has in addition been completed.
Muroua said the Ministry of Health has received a donation of six “fever guns” from the WHO to screen passengers for high temperatures, while 20 an additional “fever guns” are still to be supplied.
Four infrared scanners have been purchased for installation, while health officials stationed at the Hosea Kutako International Airport have received surveillance forms and monitor the temperature of all passengers coming from affected countries.
According to Muroua, the Ministry of Finance has availed funds from Government’s Contingency Fund for preparedness and response, and an assessment of the preparedness of selected points of entry was conducted by WHO and Ministry of Health and Social Services officials.