Rwanda strengthens preventive measures amid Ebola outbreak in neighboring Uganda


Rwanda President Paul Kagame (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KIGALI, Sept. (Xinhua) — The Rwandan Ministry of Health said on Thursday it had strengthened preventive measures at its entry points following an outbreak of the Ebola virus in neighboring Uganda.

In a statement, the ministry said while no Ebola case has been registered in Rwanda to date, the public should avoid being distracted from the attention and consider preventive measures against the spread of the Ebola virus in the country. “Both the ministries of health in Uganda and in Rwanda are working together to strengthen preventive measures at the land borders, at the airport, and internally,” Rwanda’s Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said in the statement. The ministry urged the public to be cautious and seriously comply with the preventive measures against the Ebola virus disease, noting that it is easily preventable.

The government also urged the public to ensure hygiene, avoid unnecessary visits, and contact with people who have traveled to areas affected by the Ebola outbreak. The ministry in collaboration with other partners has made great progress to avoid the Ebola outbreak, including national capacity building for its containment in the event a case spreads to Rwanda, it said.

Rwanda has vaccinated more than 200,000 people against Ebola mostly in the Western Province, according to data from the health ministry.

On Tuesday, health authorities in Uganda said they had detected an Ebola case in Ngabano village, Mubende district in the central part of the country, involving a 24-year-old male patient who succumbed to the highly contagious hemorrhagic fever.

Uganda has had over five Ebola outbreaks in the last two decades, mostly along its western regions close to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the Ministry of Health. The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes various symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise, and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the fatality rate for those who contract Ebola ranges from 50 percent to 89 percent, depending on the viral sub-type.


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