News / Africa

Kenya: Health Officials Confident Nation Prepared for Ebola

Kenya: Health Officials Confident Nation Prepared for Ebolai
Lenny Ruvaga
August 07, 2014 6:23 PM
Kenya is famed for its medical research facilities. In the growing wake of the Ebola virus, health officials there now are confident they could quickly contain the disease should the outbreak in West Africa travel east. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA on the story from Nairobi.
Kenya: Health Officials Confident Nation Prepared for Ebola

Kenya is famed for its medical research  facilities. In the growing wake of the Ebola virus, health officials there now are confident they could quickly contain the disease should the outbreak in West Africa travel east.

Downtown in the heart of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, people go about their daily business.
But Kenyans -- like Africans across the continent -- are concerned that if efforts to contain the current  Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa were to fail, that could leave their country exposed.
Kenya's Health Ministry is charged with overseeing preparedness for infectious disease and epidemics.


Preparation plans
Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, the director of Medical Services, told VOA that if there were an Ebola outbreak, Kenya is prepared.
“We have a contingency plan that’s been coordinated by an Ebola outbreak response team which has a number of sub-committees looking at various aspects," said Muraguri. "We also have an elaborate laboratory system that clearly defines how the samples will be collected.”

Ebola virus, rapid rise in spread of the disease, Aug. 7, 2014Ebola virus, rapid rise in spread of the disease, Aug. 7, 2014
Ebola virus, rapid rise in spread of the disease, Aug. 7, 2014
Ebola virus, rapid rise in spread of the disease, Aug. 7, 2014

KEMRI, the Kenya Medical Research Foundation, is where a team of scientists is working to mitigate any reported case or outbreak of the virus.
Dr. Shikanga O-tipo led a team of four Kenyan doctors to assist Liberians with technical expertise on Ebola. He said they have taken steps to prevent an outbreak in Kenya.
“Our routine surveillance was stepped up from 26th of March this year when we were notified there was an outbreak in West Africa. Where we have issued out alerts to the health care system," said O-tipo. "We are screening inbound travellers at our main airport, at the same time we are also educating health workers in the major hospital first, then all over the country.”

Ready to assist

Health officials are hopeful Kenya will remain Ebola-free. But Kenya also is ready to help others. A second group of health experts is set to travel to West Africa in the next few weeks to support containment efforts.

  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden displays CDC educational materials as he testifies about the Ebola crisis in West Africa during a hearing of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Diplomatic envoys gather for a briefing on the status of the Ebola disease control in Nigeria at the Foreign Affairs House, in Abuja,  Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Nigeria's Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu addresses diplomatic envoys on the status of the Ebola disease control in Nigeria, at the Foreign Affairs House in Abuja, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Locals suspect the unattended man in the street died from the deadly Ebola virus even though the government warns the public not to leave Ebola victims in the streets, in  Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • A man reads a local newspaper with headline news about a Lagos female doctor who contracted Ebola, in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • Lagos State Health Commissioner Jide Idris at a news conference announcing that eight people with symptoms of Ebola are being kept in quarantine after they had contact with Patrick Sawyer, a victim of Ebola who died in July, Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • An ambulance carrying the American missionary Nancy Writebol, who was infected with Ebola in West Africa, drives past crowds of people, at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia Aug. 5, 2014.
  • At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are on a conference call with CDC team members deployed in West Africa from the agency's Emergency Operations Center, Aug. 5, 2014, in Atlanta.
  • Volunteers lower a corpse into a grave. They are using safe burial practices to reduce person-to-person transmission of Ebola, in Kailahun, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, Aug. 2, 2014.




You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Suzy from: Texas
August 13, 2014 9:09 PM
I have volunteered on a medical missionary team to Kenya the past two years. They are no more "ready" to deal with Ebola than I am to fly. The clinic I served in gets $60 worth of Tylenol every quarter. That's it. My group takes several thousand dollars worth of medicine every summer, but it only lasts a few months because the Kenyan government decided medicine must be free. People get it and lose it or forget to take if, because it has no value to them. There are hardly any doctors, only nurses. Most medication comes from India or China. According to a study in a study in The Lancet, approximately 35% of anti malarial drugs are fake or expired. I could go on and on about the dreadful state of health care in Kenya. The exceptions are the Aga Khan hospitals, which are not run by the Kenyan government, so have a chance at being good.

by: Bruce Brown from: Peoria Heights, Illinois
August 07, 2014 5:46 PM
"Kenyan Officials are ...'confident' ? Goodluck Jonathan !!! I thought the headline was a joke. Heaven help us (and them) - we are ALL IN FOR IT NOW, surely.

by: Kim davis from: Norman oklahoma
August 07, 2014 4:50 PM
This article is thurough. I am saddened by the loss of life in Africa. I belive even though the vacine that has been developed should be sent as soon as soon as possible, I realize the vaccine is in its infintile stage but it can bring hope and possibly save lives , the benifit out weighs the risk. No country should hold back medical help to another country. As fo the U.S. Allowing 2 people infected with ebola in this country without regard to its citizens, they, the powers that be should be charged with criminal neglagence n premeditated murder,

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs