Preventative measures against Ebola

Clintin Brummer

Recently, an Ebola outbreak has occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This would seem far from our doors, but let us have a closer look at why we should be worried. Looking at the number of tourists flooding Mozambique and South Africa, it would seem a large amount of those people are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The Ministry of Health has announced the preventive measures to be taken in the country (Mozambique), due to the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The meeting, taking place in the city of Maputo, will be guided by specialists from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation. A statement from the Ministry indicates that actions are already underway and will be disseminated in a multi-sectorial manner, at the country’s borders.” Source: Rádio Moçambique

The Ministry of Health of Mozambique announced on Friday  18 May that it has activated its technical committee and provincial emergency centres to get prepared for dealing with any Ebola cases that may reappear in the country. This strategic move follows the outbreak of Ebola on April 4 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We have reactivated the technical groups not only at the level of the ministry but also at the provincial level which consists of health experts and partners to guarantee that all the necessary conditions are created,” said Lidia Congo, spokesperson for Health Ministry in a press conference. “We are also analysing the needs in terms of medication to address cases of Ebola if they are ever reported in the country,” added Lidia Chongo.

According to the spokesperson, prevention methods will be applied when an Ebola outbreak is first reported, namely at the border posts, by scanning passengers – particular those from the international flights and activate the dissemination of messages for precautions against Ebola. “Washing hands can be taken as a simple practice and it is important to prevent not only against Ebola, but also other diseases, so we recommend this. Special care is advised when dealing with animals,” said the spokesperson.

For travellers who absolutely need to go to an affected region, it is advisable to take the following preventive measures:

  • Practice good hygiene. Always wash your hands after coming into contact with people or objects in a public area.
  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected people. Avoid sexual contact with sick people, or people who recovered from an Ebola infection less than 7 weeks ago.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids, e.g. needles.
  • Avoid contact with corpses and/or bodily fluids from deceased patients.
  • Avoid contact with bats, avoid caves.
  • Avoid contact with other animals, especially monkeys.
  • Avoid contact with ‘bush meat’ and ‘road kill’.

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