EAC issues alert on Ebola in region

ARUSHA:
The East African Community has issued another red alert over Ebola in West Africa as the death toll from the viral disease reached more than 2,600.

A high level ministerial meeting in Nairobi mid this week resolved that the region must maintain “a high level emergency preparedness and response” to ensure it was spared from the killer disease.

“Countries should ensure their Ebola emergency and preparedness response plans meet the minimal WHO (World Health Organisation) standards”, the Secretariat said in a communique at the weekend.

Partner states were further urged to enhance cross border collaboration and information-sharing while the international community was requested to provide technical and logistical support to the affected countries.

The Arusha-based secretariat was requested to coordinate the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action on EVD using the region’s rich expertise in animal disease surveillance.

The ministerial meeting noted that the region was still risky for the killer disease which has already knocked door in the neighbouring DR Congo.

DR Congo, Ethiopia and South Sudan were called upon to join the East African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network in order to jointly monitor and detect the spread of Ebola which continues to claim lives in West Africa.

The meeting was organised by EAC in collaboration with Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, WHO, African Union and the International Civil Aviation Authority.

About Ebola
Risk of death. Ebola, first identified in the 1970s, has a high risk of death, killing between 50 and 90 per cent of those infected with the virus. The recent outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia has claimed more than 2,600 lives.

How it is spread. It’s a highly contagious fever found in humans and other primates and may be acquired upon contact with blood and other bodily fluids of an infected person or animal.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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