"Tanzania at risk of Ebola outbreak"
June 16, 2019 | 3:51 PM
by Agencies
Supplied photo.

Dar Es Salaam: Tanzania's Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu warned over the weekend that the east African nation was at high risk of an outbreak of Ebola after the virus killed at least two people in neighbouring Uganda.

Following the reported outbreak of Ebola in Uganda, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Mwanza regional authorities have deployed health staff to all entry points with Uganda, including those along Lake Victoria, to monitor people entering the country, said Mwalimu.

Uganda's health ministry said on Thursday that the second person infected with the Ebola virus had died after a family exposed to the disease quietly crossed the border from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"Tanzania is at high risk of the Ebola virus outbreak and we are doing all we can to respond to the outbreak," said Mwalimu.

She added that she has ordered relevant authorities to fix Ebola scanning machines at Mwanza Airport, the country's second largest airport, in three days' time.

Seneth Lyatuu, Mwanza Airport Acting Manager, told the minister that the airport which received travellers from the DRC and Uganda only had two old and dilapidated scanners for screening Ebola.

"We are receiving passengers from Uganda and the DRC where there is an Ebola outbreak so we need modern scanners if we are to control Ebola outbreak in the country," said Lyatuu.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the Ebola outbreak in the DRC did not qualify as an international threat, despite the spread of the virus to neighbouring Uganda.

Ebola spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person.

The current outbreak is the worst on record after an epidemic that struck mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016, leaving more than 11,300 people dead.

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