Tight screening at Uganda border over Ebola scare

A nurse at Rift valley general Hospital in protective gear after a patient suspected to be infected with Ebola virus was admitted at the institution on September 4, 2014. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Surveillance has been heightened at the Kenya-Uganda border points of Malaba, Lwakhakha (Bungoma), and Swamp (Trans Nzoia) to prevent the spread of Ebola virus after one person succumbed in neighbouring Uganda and six were reportedly infected by Thursday. 

The tight screening comes in the wake of a directive by the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to enhance health checks on truck drivers, travellers, and meat handlers at the borders. 

A spot check by The Standard yesterday established long queues of vehicles and travellers from Uganda being subjected to the screening at the Malaba One Stop Border Point.

Authorities at Malaba in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the county government of Busia deployed more security officers, customs, and health workers to beef up the screening.

An official in charge of Customs at Malaba who sought anonymity said they put the measures to prevent the disease from entering in Kenya.

“We have never stopped screening people and checking items since the outbreak of Covid-19; we have all the facilities needed for the work,” said the official.

Busia County Government Deputy Governor Arthur Odera said they are working with the national government for screening and testing at border points alongside creating awareness on t the disease.

On Tuesday, Uganda’s Health Ministry confirmed the country’s first death from the highly contagious Ebola virus since 2019, declaring an outbreak in Mubende District in Central Uganda with six cases being under investigation.

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