Maintain vigilance to ward off Ebola

It comes as a welcome relief that the ten Kenyans who had been quarantined in Sierra Leone following an outbreak of the highly contagious Ebola have been declared free from the viral disease.

The Kenyans were allowed back into the country after a long stay in West Africa and their being declared Ebola-free is a huge relief.

The Ministry of Health went to great lengths to assure Kenyans that no efforts had been spared in ensuring the country was not susceptible to an Ebola attack though there were anxious moments when news leaked that some passengers had died of the disease at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and that the gadgets used to test for the Ebola virus gave conflicting readings.

Two reported cases of the Marburg fever, which has the same symptoms as Ebola in Uganda, only a couple of kilometres away from our unrestricted common border, also raised fears.

The West African Ebola outbreak has not been contained and it continues to infect doctors who have treated patients there. The latest reported case of infection is that of an Italian doctor who worked in Sierra Leone, who has already been flown to Rome for specialised treatment.

To date, reports indicate that 337 health workers have died of Ebola. Last week, India introduced a new angle to the disease when it discovered the virus in semen samples of a doctor who had fallen ill with the Ebola virus but got treated and recovered.

Though his blood tests turned negative and he had no symptoms of the disease, his semen harbored the virus, which increased the chances of recurrence.

It is for this reason that the Government must remain vigilant and ensure that the country does not come under an Ebola or Marburg attack. Public awareness through radio and print media advertisements should continue so that the public is continually aware of the dangers.

The Kakamega County government has launched an Ebola sensitisation programme for health workers.

Such a noble initiative should be taken up by other counties.


Related Topics

Ebola Health