Nakuru County has conducted a preparedness sensitization training for Health Managers on how to combat the outbreak of Ebola virus (Sudan Ebola virus (EVD) trait), that is ravaging the neighboring Uganda.
The outbreak was announced by the Ugandan health ministry on 20th September this year and is reported to have caused deaths among the Ugandans. Nakuru is among the counties marked by the Ministry of Health as potential hotspots of the virus owing to its position along the Nothern corridor.
The County Chief officer for Public Health, Dr. Daniel Wainaina said County Director for Public Health Elizabeth Kiptoo would be spearheading the disease surveillance in the County and mobilizing the County Health Management Team members to work with the National Ebola virus disease sensitization team constituted by the Ministry of Health.
Wainaina said the County disease surveillance team was expected to scale down the knowledge to the Sub-County Managers and healthcare workers in the health facilities plus the local communities, with a focus on prevention measures.
He further said that Health-care workers would be sensitized on the virus responsive measures including early diagnosis of the virus and Infection Prevention, control measures, sample collection and management and provision of adequate commodities for prevention.
According to Wainaina, the County’s Department of Health was now mobilizing stakeholders and sector actors to develop a contingency plan with support from the Leadership of Governor Susan Kihika.
The Chief officer urged the team to help identify, screen, and report high-risk populations like truck drivers and sensitize the communities to identify and report suspected cases.
The Ministry of Health has urged all the county administrations to remain vigilant and enhance surveillance especially at the border, activate rapid response teams to support identification of any suspected cases and make prompt reporting.
The Ministry has also issued an order of screening of the population who are at risk of getting the virus including the travelers, truck drivers, bush meat handlers and healthcare workers as well as sensitize the communities to identify suspected cases.
The general public has also been advised to watch out for any person presenting with acute onset of fever especially if in contact with persons with history of travel from Uganda and/or Democratic Republic of Congo within the previous three weeks.
Other signs to look out for are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, headache, sore throat, and measles like rash, red eyes as well as bleeding from body openings. Suspected cases can be reported through the following Hotlines: 0770032032, 0799032032, 0746509837 and 0800721018-Toll Free.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe and often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Based on previous outbreaks, up to 67 per cent of infected cases die.
By Esther Mwangi and Charloth Chepkemoi