WHO Issues Warning Over Ebola Outbreak Across East Africa

East African countries are working on measures to prevent Ebola virus outbreaks across borders after the World Health Organisation issued a warning of the virus spreading from Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

WHO Issues Warning Over Ebola Outbreak Across East Africa

Nine neighbouring countries were put on high alert by the WHO and advised that they are at high-risk of spread of the virus. Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, and Burundi are ranked Priority-1. Angola, Congo, Central African Republic, Tanzania, and Zambia are ranked Priority-2.
Preparedness activities have begun in these countries to ensure they are able to respond swiftly in the event of an Ebola outbreak.

Efforts to contain the outbreak in DR Congo were hindered by the December election, with at least 30 health facilities around disease hotspots like Beni and Butembo targeted by protesters. Some citizens also fled into Uganda for fear of violence.

WHO advised countries sharing a border with DR Congo to urgently strengthen their surveillance and alert systems for early detection, and timely and effective response to potential cases.

According to WHO’s deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response Peter Salama, at least 30,000 informal traders and people go back and forth between the Uganda and DR Congo border, which poses a major challenge to the Ebola response.

According to the Red Cross, at least 60,000 people move between Rwanda and Congo daily; more than 24,000 people move across the DR Congo- Burundi border each month, and another 3,000 move between DR Congo and South Sudan each month.

To counter this informal movement, Regional countries have reintroduced routine screening of all travellers at points of entry and cautioned citizens to be vigilant.

Kenyan Health Minister Sicily Kariuki said the government has established a National Health Emergencies Council, tasked with preventing the spread of the virus.

Screening is also ongoing at Rwanda’s Rubavu and Gisenyi districts, which border DR Congo as well as Kicukiro, where an Ebola treatment centre is located.

Tanzanian Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu assured people living near the border with DR Congo that the government is on high alert to prevent the virus from spreading into the country.

At the end of last year, vaccination of health and front-line workers at priority sites in Uganda began and preparations are underway for similar measures to be undertaken in Rwanda and South Sudan.

In South Sudan, a new multi-purpose Infectious Diseases Unit was opened as part of control and preparedness efforts.

Since November last year, $7.3 million has been mobilised for comprehensive preventive activities in South Sudan, since the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo on August 1.


Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

The Virginia Killing Act of 1669: the Law That Made It Legal to Kill a Slave

The Virginia casual killing act of 1669 declared that, should a slave be killed as a result of extreme punishment, the master should not face charges for the murder.

The Creation Story of the Akamba People of Kenya

In the beginning, Mulungu the creator is said to have formed a man and a woman in heaven before placing them on a rock in on earth, where it is said that their footprints, as well as the footprints of their animals, can still be seen today.

Bussa’s Rebellion of 1816, the Largest Slave Revolt in Barbadian History

The largest slave rebellion in Barbadian history took place during the Bussa uprising in April 1816. The rebellion takes its name from the African-born...

Top 10 Longest Serving Presidents in Africa, 2022

Equatorial Guinea's president Teodoro Obiang is the longest serving president in Africa and the world. He is closely followed by Cameroons President Paul Biya.

Cornelius Frederiks: the Namibian Captain Who Was Locked Up in a Concentration Camp for Fighting Against German Colonialists

Cornelius Frederiks was a Namibian freedom fighter who actively fought a guerrilla-style war against German colonialists during the Herero-Nama war of 1904.

More Articles Like This