Minister of Health Jappie Mhango has said Malawi has put in place strategies to prevent the potential spread of Ebola in the country and his ministry is on high alert and is closely monitoring the situation from African countries hit by the viral disease.
Jappie Mhango: Ministry of Health is on Ebola alert
Mhango said this in Parliament on Wednesday when legislators expressed concerm that Malawi has 32 000 refugees with some rom Ebola-hit countries and that the virus could spread through the country.
Two fatal cases were reported in Uganda last month, marking the first confirmed cross-border cases of the virus in the current epidemic and prompting major fears the outbreak could be about to enter a new phase of wider regional transmission.
Mhango said: "The ministry [of health] is implementing a number of activities to prevent the disease from spreading into the country.
"We are currently conducting health cluster meetings and we have also developed the Ebola action Plan."
Mhango said information communication materials have been developed at airports and health facilities.
"We are renovating and constructing isolation rooms and refugees entering the country are being screened in Chitipa and Karonga," he told the House.
Malawi was successful in the fight against Ebola in 2016 when the disease did not spread into the country from those nations which were affected.
But some sources who recently travelled abroad observed that Malawi stopped screening immigrants at airports and road border posts after WHO pronounced African nations free from Ebola in 2016.
The world's worst epidemic of Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, is believed to be spread over long distances by bats, which can host the virus without dying, and they infect other animals with which they share trees, such as monkeys.
The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in DRC.