Tanzania: Dar On Gritty Fight Against Ebola

TANZANIA will continue cooperating with World Health Organisation (WHO) and international community in building capacity of health experts in handling Ebola cases.

The government has as well pledged to observe international regulations and procedures in dealing with the epidemic diseases.

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Minister Ummy Mwalimu reports in Dar es Salaam yesterday that so far there is no Ebola patient reported in the country and measures were underway to prevent the deadly disease from crossing to the country.

Ms Mwalimu advised members of the public to ignore circulating reports through media and other social platforms that Tanzania was not transparent on issues related to epidemic diseases.

"The government is aware of the effects of Ebola outbreak, we cannot hide any report related to the epidemic...it seems there is an ill motive behind the spread of the negative reports against our country," she fumed.

Minister Mwalimu said Tanzania has been in forefront in taking preventive measures against Ebola and other epidemics, noting that the country has been observing the Internationa.

l"In 2016, Tanzania was the first country in the world to undergo the Joint External Evaluation, a voluntary, collaborative and multisectoral process to assess the country's capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public health risks. "The evaluation was conducted for the first time globally to ensure that WHO member states abide by the international health regulations," she said.

Ms Mwalimu said that some other rich countries were hesitant to undergo the evaluation until two years later while others haven't been evaluated todate; "Therefore, reports that Tanzania was not transparent in disclosure of epidemic diseases related reports are false and should be ignored."

She said the government cannot hide any information related to Ebola, which is the fast-moving with adverse effect disease.

The minister further said that procedures for reporting epidemics were well known and it was important for all stakeholders to abide by laws and procedures of the respective countries as well as international regulations.

She said currently the ministry's priority is to strengthen preventive measures to control the disease from crossing to Tanzania.

Ms Mwalimu said as the disease continued being reported in neighbouring countries, wananchi should take preventive measures like washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with infected people and report to authorities any case of suspected patient.

She stressed that the government has been taking preventive measures since the viral disease was reported for the first time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in August last year.

As of September 30, this year 3,194 patients were confirmed to have contracted the deadly disease, with 2,133 reported deaths.

"We have been taking various preventive measures-strengthening the disease coordination and monitoring-to ensure it doesn't cross over to Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Minister Mwalimu said government interventions to control dengue fever in the country have yielded positive results, with the country recording drastic decline of the disease in September.

She said last month, 10 patients were confirmed to have contracted the disease while in August and July there were 92 and 732 patients, respectively reported.

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