Kenya steps up Ebola prevention efforts
31 October 2014, 09:24
Nairobi - Kenya's cabinet on Thursday announced elaborate
measures as part of a contingency plan for Ebola preparedness and
response to ensure the east Africa nation remains free from Ebola.
The cabinet which met under the chairmanship of President Uhuru
Kenyatta directed the formation of an experts committee to monitor the
country on a 24-hour basis on any signs of the disease.
The cabinet which met in Nairobi also directed the Ministry of Health
to set up an Ebola response team in the event of an outbreak.
"The Cabinet expressed satisfaction with the measures taken and urged
Kenyans to remain fully alert everywhere as a way of ensuring our
country remains free from the disease," the statement said.
So far, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has tested at least 36 alert cases, all of which negative to Ebola.
KEMRI is a World Health Organisation (WHO)-recognized laboratory for
testing and confirming Ebola cases. It has capacity to serve the
"To ensure there are no infections in the country, the government has
put ordered the 100 percent screening of all air passengers entering
Kenyan soil," the statement said.
The statement noted that 11 scanners have already been installed at major airports. More will be installed in coming days.
It said the construction of an isolation facility at the Kenyatta
National Hospital, the largest referral hospital in Kenya, which has
been set aside as a temporary isolation facility is almost complete,
other two facilities are under construction in two other hospitals.
Read also: Experts urge caution over Ebola hopes
The cabinet said 10,000 people have already been trained to provide
help in managing the disease and prepare for any eventuality.
Sources said the training focused on key subjects on the disease and
its spread and management including: prevention and control,
transmission, surveillance, laboratory diagnosis and management of
patients and the nature Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
It also covered suspect screening, transportation of patients and
management of patients and health facilities. The training is part of
the capacity building function of Kenya's Contingency Plan which was set
to handle the preparedness and response to Ebola.
The measures come as the World Bank Group on Thursday announced an
additional 100 million U.S. dollars funding in its Ebola crisis response
to speed up deployment of foreign health workers to the three
worst-affected countries in West Africa.
West Africa and global development leaders have in recent weeks
appealed for a massive coordinated reinforcement of international health
teams to the three countries in order to contain the epidemic.
Kenya requires about 20 million U.S. dollars for the programme of
tackling Ebola and so far the government has set aside 7.5 million
dollars and also received 2.7 million dollars for the project from the
At least 600 Kenyans have volunteered to travel to West African
countries to support in tackling the Ebola outbreak, according to
Kenya's director of medical services Nicholas Muraguri.
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