7 June 2017

Tanzania: Songwe Scans Passengers for Ebola

Songwe International Airport (SIA) in the new Songwe Region has started to test passengers who enter the country through the airport for Ebola under the unit of emergency diseases.

The Songwe Regional Health Officer, Mr Peter Alfred, has said that several health officers from the Regional Unit of Emergency Diseases have camped at the airport to test and unveil the passengers with Ebola symptoms.

SIA is the airport that has a capacity to receive 500,000 passengers from separate countries in the world per year. The move follows at the heels of recent reports of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Alfred said they have installed a modern machine at the airport that has the capacity of taking photos of the passengers passing from five to 10 metres.

The machine will also show the body temperature and it will provide alarm if the body temperature will be above 37.5 degrees centigrade.

"A passenger who would be found with the body temperature above 37.5 degrees centigrade would be taken to a special area located 300 metres from the airport before being rushed to Mbeya Regional Referral Hospital for medical treatment," he explained.

However, he said that apart from checking the passengers for abnormal body temperature, they will also inspect and obtain personal information by filling out a special form for all passengers who pass on the same compound coming from DR Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, US, Spain and all countries that claimed to be hit by the disease.

"So far we have not received a patient with these symptoms and we continue to contain it because here is a great way for passengers coming from DR Congo," said Mr Alfred.

Earlier last month the government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, sent a six-member team of health experts on an Ebola sensitisation mission covering five Tanzanian regions bordering the DRC.

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