MoH issues Ebola alert

The government has reactivated holding rooms at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to isolate suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease. High risk cases will be identified while awaiting possible transfer to isolation facilities after thorough assessment.

Yesterday, the director of medical services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Jackson Kioko, said information on EVD will be provided to incoming and outgoing travellers at all points of entry.

He said the diagnostic services at Kemri, isolation/treatment centres at Kenyatta National Hospital and regional facilities have been put on high alert to enhance capacity to detect and respond effectively, and to give proper care to patients suspected to have Ebola.

“The ministry has an adequate stock of personal protective equipment that are stored in strategic regional hospitals for use if needed. These include at least 5,000 special full body suits used in situations of highly infectious material,” Kioko said.

He said the ministry has reactivated the multi-agency Outbreak Coordination Committee. The team comprises public health experts in government and development partners to assess the situation in Kenya, regional and global, and advise on possible response measures.

“We have strengthened screening and surveillance of travellers from/through DRC at a point of entry. All persons with travel history from or through DRC, especially in affected areas, will be required to provide minimum package of information to guide investigations,” he said.

Kioko said this will include and is not limited to personal details, location of origin, history of contact with potential EVD cases, presence of any suggestive signs and symptoms of EVD, and contact details while in the country.

He said the information will be collected to aid personal risk assessment, and daily follow-ups for 21 days if they will still be residents. For enhanced surveillance, Kioko said the ministry has also reactivated the rapid response teams, and will follow up cases of travellers with elevated body temperatures, and asymptomatic cases, and with a history of travel from or through DRC.

 

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