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Do all possible to keep Ebola away

By Editorial | October 22nd 2018 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300


The latest outbreak of violence in Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo is cause for worry. Not just because of the potency of the viral disease, but how instability helps fuel the disease.

The Ebola virus, which is fatal in 90 per cent of cases, has killed more than 80 people in the DRC since its latest outbreak- the 10th since 1976, when the disease was first identified and named after a river in the mineral rich country.

Despite concerted efforts to combat its spread, war poses a major obstacle to the disease as populatins move across borders to escape the violence.

SEE ALSO: Belgian king expresses deep regret for colonial past in Congo

Considering that Kenya is one of Africa’s foremost transport hubs, how secure are our borders?

A 2014 report by the World Health Organisation that Kenya is unprepared to tame an Ebola outbreak still worries.

We still remember the security lapses such as those of a Liberian boy in Naivasha who, together with his family, was turned away at the airport but re-entered the country using deceit exposed innocent Kenyans to the deadly disease.

We are aware that so much has gone into stopping the virus from leaping into our territory especially at the airports. But that is not enough. In truth, our major undoing is weak surveillance.

Most of the surveillance efforts are placed at the airports (perhaps for the cameras) while our porous borders remain largely free-range.

SEE ALSO: 60 years since historic Lumumba speech launched Congo independence

The government must and can do better to protect Kenyans against the virus, say by creating centres of control across all entry points.


Ebola Democratic Republic of Congo DRC
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