21 May 2017

Rwanda: Public Vigilance Critical in Keeping Ebola At Bay


The Ministry of Health this week announced a raft of measures to prevent the spread of Ebola into Rwanda days after cases of the virus were confirmed in northern DR Congo.

The strategies including an internationally recommended ban on travels from the affected region of DR Congo, while there are also restrictions on travelers from the neighbouring country presenting symptoms such as fever.

The ministry said it was also introducing screening for temperature at all border posts with DR Congo - in Rubavu and Rusizi districts -, with some 45,000 people said to be crossing the border points each day.

Kigali International Airport has also initiated fever screening.

The government has also advised against travelling to the affected areas of the DR Congo, while the public has been urged to be on the lookout and immediately report any suspicious case.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, sweating, vomiting, fatigue, headache, eye redness, sore throat, red spots on skin, among others.

It is critical that the ministry and its partners continue to strengthen the country's preparedness and readiness to deal with the threat with view to keeping it at bay - including training an army of medical personnel and volunteers with capacity to detect any suspicious case and deal with it effectively.

That Rwanda is one of the first countries to announce comprehensive precautionary measures, including travel restrictions, in the wake of the latest Ebola outbreak is commendable.

Nonetheless, the greatest responsibility rests with the general public. The public should be on alert and behave in a manner that complements the existing precautionary measures. We should all be part of the national effort to safeguard Rwandans and everyone in the country for the betterment of us all.

We must all commit to the successful implementation of the existing measures and not condone any violations.


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