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WHO, Uganda boost Ebola screening at border points with DR Congo



WHO, Uganda boost Ebola screening at border points with DR Congo

Kampala, Feb. 21, 2019 (Xinhua/NNN) World Health Organisation (WHO) and Uganda Red Cross Society have signed an agreement to boost Ebola screening at border points with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where there is an outbreak.

WHO in a statement issued on Thursday said there would be screening of travellers at 25 points of entry in eight districts along the border.

WHO will provide about 161, 662 dollars to the Ugandan society to support the identification and the deployment of 115 Village Health Teams to ensure that all the 25 points of entry are fully staffed.

“These teams will undertake regular daily screenings of all travellers entering from the DRC, monitoring for signs of Ebola,” the statement said.

Support will also go towards training 229 frontline health workers and volunteers on infection prevention and control.

According to the WHO, border screening is a major area of concern for health workers in Uganda given the proximity of the epicenter of the disease.

Thousands of people cross the border daily for trade, family, religious, health and education-related services at both official and non-official border crossings, which increases the risk of a sick traveller potentially crossing over, according to the global health body.

The situation is compounded by the influx of refugees to Uganda due to the security situation in provinces affected by the current Ebola outbreak in the neighboring country.

Figures by Uganda and the UN Refugee Agency show that averages of 111 refugees cross into Uganda daily from the DRC.

The highly contagious Ebola virus causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalised pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding, according to WHO.

Mortality rates of Ebola fever, according to the global health body, are extremely high, with the human case fatality rate ranging from 50 per cent to 89 per cent, depending on viral subtype. (Xinhua/NNN)
Edited by Fatima Sule/Felix Ajide

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