ZIMBABWE just like any other country in the region, is not safe from the Ebola outbreak which has already been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO), a top government official has said.
By Michael Gwarisa
In an interview, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Agnes Mahomva said Zimbabwe takes the WHO Ebola warning seriously.
We stand very much guided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) we know they are a strong technical arm of the world and when they provide that kind of guidance, we take it very seriously and we just re-look at our own processes. Remember when Ebola came out a few years back, we put in place approaches and strategies on how to handle it even if it never came here.
“We are just basically re-looking at those processes and approaches that we already have in place to make sure that they are strengthened and working and we wait to see, we are basically not starting something new, we already are on the ground and we know what needs to happen, so our teams are always ready,” said Dr Mahomva.
She added that Zimbabwe was at risk due to human movement and unrestricted travel around the world including the affected areas.
“We are at risk like any other country, remember we are now a global village, anyone can fly into Zimbabwe and anyone can fly out of Zimbabwe and hence the risk the very much there for any country like Zimbabwe. As long as we have those connections, we are at risk.”
Early this week, WHO warned of an impending Ebola outbreak that could spread beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) boarders in what the international health organisation has described as a public health emergency of international concern.
The declaration followed a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for EVD in the DRC. The Committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.