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Rwanda on high alert: No single Ebola case

Written by: George Kalisa
Sunday, December 2nd, 2018, 6:08
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Rwanda’s Health Minister Dr. Diane Gashumba December1 told this reporter that there is not a single case of Ebola detected nor has any screening taken place in the country but revealed they had simulation exercises at Kanombe Military Hospital and hospitals in high-risk districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of national plan to assess preparedness.   

 

Her revelation ended widespread speculations that the Ebola outbreak in DRC could easily have found its way into the east African nation, which has the best healthcare systems in the region. The speculations were sparked off by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after warning in November that Ebola “could easily spread to Uganda and Rwanda anytime”.

 

WHO recently warned that Ebola outbreak in DRC would last for three or four months.

 

 “No case of Ebola in Rwanda. What we did at Kanombe Military Hospital was not screening. We did a simulation exercise and the same in Rubavu Hospital and other hospitals bordering DRC,” said Gashumba during an online interview.

 

“The simulation is part of our plan to regularly assess our preparedness and the outcome was positive,” she added.

 

Rwanda/DRC border in Rubavu District receives the highest number of cross border movements oscillating between 45,000 and 50,000 people per day according to Rwanda’s Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration. 

 

Rwanda continues to receive FDLR ex-combatants and their families from DRC. Late November DRC repatriated more than 800.

 

Shortly after the repatriation had started WHO announced that the DRC Ebola outbreak is now the second largest in history after that of West Africa between 2014 and 2016.

 

The Rwandan government said returnees were gathered during the last two years as part of a joint UN and regional efforts to repatriate all rebel groups in the region. 

 

Heads of State in the region had set October20, 2018 as deadline for the eastern DRC to be cleared of rebel activities responsible insecurity there for now decades.

 

Number of Ebola cases reached 429 including 379 confirmed cases and 47 suspected WHO announced this week. Ebola was first detected in 1967.

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