Rwanda is upping its readiness to prevent Ebola from entering the country, after an Ebola outbreak was late on Sunday confirmed in the city of Goma.
The virus causes severe bleeding, organ failure and can lead to death.
Humans may spread the virus to other humans through contact with bodily fluids such as blood.
On Monday, Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba announced that Rwanda is ready to fight the Ebola epidemic.
She said that that so far, Rwanda has done much to prevent the Ebola outbreak in the country in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to be able to cope with it in case it might be found in the country.
“One of the strategies is to test the cross-border passengers. Rwanda has trained 23,657 people, including doctors, nurses, hospital staff, police, Red Cross volunteer workers, and health counselors,” she said.
She added that the ministry also promotes awareness on the epidemic, including the precautions when a person has been suspected of having Ebola, which is done in village meetings, community mobilization and media coverage.
The Ministry of Health on Monday issued a statement advising Rwandans to protect themselves by, for instance, cancelling unnecessary trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), especially to the city of Goma, located on the country’s eastern border with Rwanda, where an Ebola case was confirmed late on Sunday.
The statement further urges Rwandans not to accommodate people who are coming from the Ebola- affected area and to provide information about them when they get to know their whereabouts in the country.
“The Ministry of Health would like to remind everyone to contribute in strengthening measures to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus to Rwanda. A case of Ebola Virus Disease was confirmed on this July 14, 2019 in Goma, North-Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the statement signed by Minister for Health says.
People coming from the affected area are also reminded to urgently examine their body temperature and any person who comes from the region of the epidemic should also immediately inform the police via a toll free number 112 or call the Ministry of Health on 114.
In addition, the public is advised to inform their local leaders and health counselors in case anyone has recently arrived in the country from the Ebola area.
Other precautions are to go to the clinic as soon as the person shows the symptoms of Ebola which often include fever, headache, muscle pain and chills. Later, a person may experience internal bleeding resulting in vomiting or coughing blood.
People should avoid contact with the blood or bodily fluids of the infected people, wash their hands frequently using clean water and soap, not handle tools previously used by the infected person and avoid contact with the remains of the infected person or animal.
More than 1,600 people have died since the Ebola outbreak began in eastern DR Congo a year ago – the second biggest outbreak ever.
The confirmed Ebola case in Goma was announced late Sunday by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health ministry.
The patient, a 46-year-old pastor from South Kivu province, was admitted to an Ebola treatment center in Goma, but then transferred to one in Butembo on Monday morning, according to a statement from the health ministry.