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Siaya County establishes Ebola screening points

Siaya County government has established Ebola screening points in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly disease that has been reported in Uganda, County Executive committee member for health, Dismas Odhiambo Wakla has said.

Dismas Odhiambo Wakla – CECM health and sanitation addressing the media in his office. Photo by Philip Onyango 

Wakla said that the screening points will be at Sega and Ugunja townships along the Busia – Kisumu highway, the major trade route to Uganda.

Addressing the media in Siaya town Monday, the CEC said that his department was also intensifying surveillance along the Lake Victoria islands and beaches that connect to the neighbouring country.

“We have established that the Lake area is another weak link to our efforts to keep Ebola at bay,” he said adding that residents of the islands and beaches interact a lot with Ugandans through trade, fishing and other activities hence the need to create more awareness and intensify surveillance.

Wakla, who was accompanied by the county disease surveillance coordinator, Eunice Oreri lamented that his staff were experiencing a challenge within the Lake front, especially reaching the fishermen whom, he added, ply their trade at night.

“We are talking of people who ply their trade at night, while during the day, when our people are making contact and screening people, they are asleep,” said the CEC.

He however said that they have resorted to using community health volunteers who have been adequately briefed about Ebola to reach out to the targeted groups.

He said that his department has further reached out to the national government, through the office of the county commissioner and have agreed on a multi sectoral approach to handle the issue.

The county disease surveillance coordinator, Eunice Oreri appealed to the public to work closely with health personnel and other government officials to keep the deadly disease at bay.

She said that anybody who comes across a person with Ebola like symptoms should call a Toll Free line 0800721008.

Oreri further urged the residents to intensify hand washing with soap and avoid contact with anybody exhibiting Ebola signs.

By Philip Onyango

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