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County heightens surveillance on Ebola

Health officials in Kisumu County have been put on a high alert following the outbreak of Ebola in the neighboring Uganda.

County Director of Public Health Fredrick Oluoch said given Kisumu’s proximity to Uganda with goods coming in and out through the port and by road, the county government was not leaving anything to chance to ensure the disease is not imported into the country.

A rapid response team, he said, has been constituted to sensitize members of the public on the disease and at the same time step up surveillance to keep the disease at bay.

The team, he added, was working in liaison with the national officials adding that the existing isolation centers which were used during the Covid-19 pandemic have been prepared for use in the event a case is reported in the area.

Border Public Health Officers at Kisumu Port, Kisumu International Airport and their counterparts in Busia and Malaba border posts, he added, have been brought on board to step up surveillance.

Speaking to KNA in his office, Oluoch said the exercise also targets to create awareness on the symptoms of the disease so that members of the public can effectively take part in the surveillance.

“The disease has similar symptoms as Covid-19 except that for Ebola, there is bleeding from body openings such as the mouth, ears, eyes, nose, anus and even the vagina for females,” he said.

Kisumu is among the 20 counties that have been flagged by the Ministry of Health as high risk for the disease which has so far claimed 21 lives in Uganda.

The Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) Health Pillar Director Dr. Rosemary Obara, asked county governments in the region to tighten surveillance to ensure that the disease is not imported into the country.

LREB, she added, was conducting an assessment to establish the economic effect of the disease in the region.

By Becky Galyns and Fleiss Akoko

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