14 January 2019

Uganda: WHO Orders Mandatory Ebola Screening At Entebbe Airport

Photo: The Independent
Entebbe Airport

The World Health Organization (WHO) has ordered for the mandatory Ebola screening of all passengers entering the country through Entebbe international airport.

Initially, airport authorities were screening only passengers returning on flights from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, according to Simon Ebachu, the head of Ebola screening, WHO has instructed that all passengers entering the country to be screened.

The mandatory screening comes at a time when DRC is struggling to contain an Ebola outbreak that broke out in August 2018 in the North Kivu Province, along the border with Uganda. According to statistics from the ministry of Health in DRC, at least 700 people have been infected with the Ebola virus since it broke out. Of those infected, 370 have died.

As part of the mandatory screening, more than 40 health workers have been stationed at the airport to screen all passengers.

Ebachu says that the passengers will be screened using an automatic thermal stand that screens people's temperatures as soon as they arrive at the airport. He also indicated that as soon as one is detected, he or she is taken to an isolation centre at Entebbe referral hospital.

Bonny Natukunda, the district health educator, Wakiso district, says that the government is training different Village Health Teams (VHTs) to handle Ebola cases in case they occur in the community.

In May, the ministry of Health reinstated Ebola screening at all border posts.

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