Kenya to screen travelers at border points after Uganda Ebola outbreak

A health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. [File, Standard]

Kenya will begin screening travelers and truck-drivers at all county border points, following an outbreak of Ebola in neighbouring Uganda. 

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the death of a 24-year-old who hailed from central Mubende district, Uganda and had Ebola symptoms namely high fever, diarrhea, vomiting blood and abdominal pains.
Kenya’s Ministry of Health has since sent out an alert, asking citizens to remain vigilant and enhance surveillance at all border points of the country.

In a circular dated Wednesday, September 21, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has asked the counties neighboring Uganda to take precautions that include screening travelers, truck-drivers stating that the alert is in keeping with the East African Community (EAC) health protocols.

“The main mode of transport is road, air and water (through Lake Victoria). Some of the formal and informal land crossings include border points such as Busia, Malaba, Lwakhakha, Suam. All these put Kenya at high risk of disease importation and therefore members of the public need to be vigilant and report any suspected cases,” Kagwe warned.

He at the same time called on the public to take heightened precautions while visiting Uganda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The CS also asked citizens to watch out for anyone presenting acute onset of fever especially if they have come in contact with persons with history of travel form Uganda and DR Congo within the previous three weeks.

Among the symptoms to watch out are; vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, headache, sore throat, measles like rash, red eyes and bleeding from body openings.

WHO in a statement yesterday noted that Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI)confirmed the case after testing samples from the deceased, who had initially been treated for malaria, before being diagnosed with Ebola.