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Strict monitoring at Ethiopia’s borders in cooperation with regional states is underway to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus into the country, the Minister of Health announced.
The National Committee established to deal with Ebola held its meeting this week on Tuesday August 19. Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen at the meeting stated that despite the fact that no detection of the virus had been discovered in Ethiopia so far, all the necessary precautions should be made to prevent the virus from entering the country. He also stated that the public’s health is top priority.
According to Minister of Health Dr. Kesetebrhan Admasu, the national committee has enabled the Ministry to work in collaboration with different stakeholders. He also sated that extensive work in creating awareness about the disease is being carried out.
According to the Ministry of Health, Woreda health center care givers are receiving training to commence a 24 hour a day monitoring at international borders.
Dr. Kesetebrhan also stated that the spread of the disease in Nigeria is reportedly low and Ethiopian Airlines will continue to fly there with extreme precautions. It was stated that the decision by Kenya Airways to halt all flights to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon has lowered the fear of the spread of the disease to East Africa.
According to reports, Ethiopian Airlines is also taking precautionary measures against the spread of Ebola. The airline has been informing passengers on ways to reduce risking exposure and preventing the spread of the disease for those traveling to and from affected countries.
The airline also requires passengers to fill in surveillance forms before boarding for traceability purposes; and precautionary testing is being conducted by health officials on passengers before boarding and after arriving.
Recently, the World Health Organization has stated that air travel is low risk for Ebola transmission and air transport hubs are not high risk for the spread of Ebola.
The African Union is also stepping up support efforts to Ebola affected countries. The African Union Peace and Security Council announced that it has decided to authorize immediate deployment of an AU-led Military and Civilian Humanitarian Mission to affected countries.
It is stated that the mission comprises of medical doctors, nurses, and other medical and paramedical personals, as well as military personnel.
AU stated that it recognizes the seriousness of the security implications of the Ebola outbreak. The epidemic has the potential of undermining the tremendous progress made by these countries over the past few years as the countries are in a post-conflict situation.