Rwanda contests rumours of Ebola victim setting foot on her soils
Written by: George Kalisa
Thursday, July 18th, 2019, 3:33
Rwanda’s Health Minister Dr. Diane Gashumba has today dismissed rumours making the rounds that the Congolese cross-border trader who died of Ebola passed through Rwanda.
The World Health organization (WHO) on Wednesday confirmed that a woman died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last week after buying fish from a Uganda market.
Gashumba reminded citizens to be more vigilant through health practices including ensuring proper hygiene in order to prevent the Ebola epidemic.
“This is wrong information, our country is Ebola free - the public should however be more vigilant and practice hygiene to prevent the epidemic,” said Dr. Gashumba.
Yesterday WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in DRC a public health emergency of international concern following technical advice based on Ebola’s geographical spread raising fears, especially in the region.
The minister remarked while presiding over the 15th anniversary of the U.S. President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) celebrated today.
Gashumba revealed that Rwanda has never seen any shortage of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) for the last 15 years, adding that people living with HIV are healthy and contribute towards the country’s development hence extending gratitude to PEPFAR.
“As a country we have not run short of antiretroviral drugs for people living with HIV and now live healthy lives and contribute to the country's development, we’re indeed grateful to PEPFAR for the unfailing support to the HIV fight,” said Gashumba.
On his part the United States Envoy to Rwanda Peter Vrooman noted that PEPFAR has played a big role in fighting HIV/AIDS in Rwanda through scaling up on male circumcision, providing Antiretroviral therapy, care for adults and children living with HIV.
Vrooman called on Rwandans to continue fighting HIV related discrimination and stigma.
During the celebrations three model health centres from Gasabo District, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge were awarded for their exceptional role in providing HIV related services which including voluntary counselling and testing.
Since 2014 PEPFAR has invested over US $ 1.2 billion in fighting HIV/AIDS with a focus of providing testing and treatment services to people living with the virus in Rwanda alone.
As a result the country has maintained HIV prevalence at 3 % for more than a decade and the country is making tremendous progress towards achieving 90-90-90 target by 2030.