Mombasa County rolls out contingency plans to mitigate Ebola virus

Monday, October 3rd, 2022 00:26 | By
An Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU). PHOTO/Courtesy
An Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU). PHOTO/Courtesy

Health officials in Mombasa have rolled out a contingency plan on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) prevention and containment, three days after the Ministry of Health listed the county in the red zone of possible outbreak of the deadly contagion.

Public Health Chief Officer Pauline Oginga said among the measures include setting up of a standby isolation facility at the Railways Dispensary in Shimanzi area on the fringes of the CBD.

“We have identified this facility as our isolation because it is away from daily human activities. It has the capacity to handle over 20 people. Ordinarily we have been using this facility for cholera isolations. The reason why we have not set up an isolation facility at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital is because it is a busy facility and we don’t want to risk exposing many people,” Oginga explained.

On Thursday September 29, Oginga alongside other top officials in the Department and port health convened a stakeholders meeting where they laid out elaborate EVD strategies.

Disease experts

Addressing the press last Friday, Oginga said already a team christened ‘Team A’ is being trained by infectious diseases experts on how to respond and collect samples from a suspected case.

“We developed a plan on communication and response in case of a suspected case, be it from the community, Port, Airport or any other place. We laid out structure on call centers…We understand that both Covid-19 and EVD are contagious but Ebola is worse. In this case we are utilizing the Personal Protective Equipments that we acquired during Covid-19.

“We have distributed protective gear in sub-counties just like we did with Covid-19.  In response, we are using the personnel we deployed during the pandemic. The difference is we are stressing on caution in donning, doffing and disaffection to curb Ebola. We have enough infection prevention materials which are key in such a response,” Oginga said.

The chief officer further added the county through public health promotion officers is creating awareness on the signs and symptoms of Ebola, especially for travelers and where to seek treatment.

Mombasa County has been listed as one of the high-risk counties in a situational report by the Director General of Health owing to the enormous human traffic between Kenya and Uganda through the Moi International Airport and other porous borders.

This is after Ugandan authorities declared an outbreak of the disease that has already claimed several lives.

On Wednesday September 28, long distance truck drivers plying the Northern corridor expressed worries at how cross border authorities are handling the Ebola threat.

In an interview with People Daily in Mombasa, the truckers who have been traversing the cross-border long distance routes via Uganda said little was being done to keep the Ebola threat at bay and warned that with the status quo, Kenya is staring at a glaring risk of outbreak.

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