MoH installs new devices to boost Ebola border surveillance
10 December 2014, 11:22
Nairobi - The Ministry of Health has procured state-of-the-art equipment to enhance Ebola surveillance at the ports of entry, officials said on Tuesday.
Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia said the ultra- modern surveillance devices will detect and report Ebola cases to a command center in Nairobi.
"We have enhanced our surveillance capacity at all ports of entry to ensure no Ebola cases penetrating inside the Kenyan soil. An electronic surveillance system will boost these efforts," Macharia said.
He spoke in Nairobi during the hand-over of Ebola preparedness materials by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Kenya formed an inter-agency taskforce in August to enhance response to Ebola as the disease wrecks havoc in West Africa.
The cabinet secretary for health said Kenya has mobilized resources to train additional health workers and establish new isolation units.
"Kenya is a transit region and our vulnerability to Ebola transmission is still high, and that is why we have installed camera and thermostats at border points to boost screening," said Macharia.
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He also revealed that a modern isolation unit will be opened soon at the country's main referral hospital.
Kenya has finalized an Ebola strategic management plan that focuses on diagnoses, inter-agency coordination and training of health workers. Multilateral agencies have provided technical and financial assistance to boost Ebola response in Kenya.
Macharia added that public education will be scaled up in border counties.
The WHO Country Representative Custodia Mandlhate said the agency will increase support towards public awareness, surveillance and case management.
"Kenya's preparedness to Ebola is satisfactory but efforts must be strengthened in surveillance, logistics and coordination," Mandlhate said.
Latest figures from WHO show cumulative Ebola cases and deaths stood at 17,145 and 6,070 respectively up to the end of Nov. 30.
Macharia said that 700 doctors and nurses have enrolled in a regional voluntary program to assist Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone combat Ebola. The ministry of health in October commenced the training of 30,000 medical workers to enable them respond effectively to an Ebola outbreak.
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