Ministry of Health (MOH) has dispelled fears in the public domain over Ebola after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a state of emergence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
MOH says Malawi has no cases of Ebola outbreak including its immediate neighbours and there should be no cause for worry.
Public Relations Officer at MOH Joshua Malango said they are pleading with Malawians to confirm information related to public health before raising unnecessary alarms.
The PR said they will sensitize the public about Ebola and enable them to quickly recognise and report any suspected cases.
“The Ministry of Health has Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) comprising of different cadres at National, Central and District Hospitals who are equipped to effectively deal with Ebola cases,” Malango said.
Meanwhile, Development Fund International Development (DFID) through the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has given Malawi government 478,000 pounds (MK423 million) to help with the Ebola prevention and preparedness programs.
Malango said the funds will among others be used to train 500 healthcare workers in border districts which could be first point of contact and other ports of entry.
He singled out Dowa, Lilongwe and Blantyre as among the areas on high alert.
DFID Malawi Health Team leader Desmond Whyms said the government of Malawi needs to have effective measures in place in preparation for any outcome.
The threat to Malawi
Malawian peacekeepers are embedded with the UN force in Beni which is reported to be one of the most hit areas of Ebola in the DRC.
Five hundred refugees and asylum seekers enter Malawi every month most of them from the DRC. Although none of them have reported having been in Ebola hotspots, the likelihood of an infected person crossing into Malawi is there.
Whyms said they will support Malawi in screening of soldiers returning from the DRC to ensure that they do not bring the virus in the country.
So far Malawi has not issued any travel restrictions saying business with its neighbours continues as normal.
UNICEF Health specialist Steve Macheso said Ebola is real and communities and health workers need to be vigilant.