Ebola preparedness in top gear, says State

GOVERNMENT has installed a fixed thermal Scanner at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to automatically detect any traveller with raised temperature that may be caused by the Ebola virus.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been 3069 cases of Ebola in West Africa.

Ministry of Health acting spokesperson Dennis Mulenga said the installation of a similar scanner at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola was near completion.

Dr Mulenga said the government had continued to be vigilant and has heightened its surveillance at all points of entry to prevent the spread of Ebola into the country.

He said Zambia had not recorded a case of Ebola that that broke out in West Africa in March this year and recently in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dr Mulenga said the country has budgeted for a preparedness fund that would support a number of preventive and responsive measures that have been put in place to avert the spread of the disease into Zambia.

He said travel from and to Ebola hit countries remained restricted until further notice in Zambia.

Dr Mulenga however said the government has signed a Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 49 of 2014 that compelled health workers to report any suspected Ebola cases to relevant authorities.

He said Secretary to Cabinet chaired meetings of permanent secretaries that are held every Monday to strategize on the prevention of the disease from spreading into Zambia.

Dr Mulenga  said the government had procured the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended personal protective equipment that comprised rubber boots, medical scrubs, rubber gloves,  long sleeved waterproof airtight suits, a rubber aprons, rubber bibs, rubber hoods, masks and eye shields that were meant to help Zambia prepare adequately for a possible outbreak.

Dr Mulenga also said a toll free line-909- on all networks had been introduced for those seeking more information on the disease.