Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango has assured Malawian citizens that there are no reported cases of Ebola virus anywhere in the country and that in the unlikely event that the disease is detected the ministry is ready to manage the situation.
Mhango made the remarks on Tuesday in Lilongwe at a press briefing to update the country on the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“My ministry with guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), is implementing activities in preparedness of the Ebola outbreak in order to prevent the virus from being transmitted to Malawi,” Mhango said.
The minister added that they have developed an Ebola Action Plan and that Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on Ebola have been developed and placed in airports and health facilities.
“A meeting on Ebola preparedness between my ministry and civil aviation was done and this led to passengers, especially those coming from Ebola-affected countries being screened.
“Renovations of isolation rooms, orientation of airport staff and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) were supplied at both Chileka and Kamuzu International airports,” he said.
Mhango also stated that Ebola rapid response teams have been set up in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and all border districts.
WHO Representative, Doctor Nonhlanhla Dlamini called for a more united approach in which NGOS and United Nations partners should speed and scale up all their activities on the disease.
“Currently, no country has implemented travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic to and from the DRC, however, travelers are advised to seek medical advice before travel and should practice good hygiene,” Dlamini said.
She further stated that although the risk of the spread of Ebola at national and regional levels remains very high, the risk at global level remains very low.
The Ebola outbreak was first reported in August 2018 in DRC and as of August 4, 2019 the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus disease in the country was 2763 which includes 1849 deaths.