News / Africa

Kenya: Health Officials Confident Nation Prepared for Ebola

Kenya: Health Officials Confident Nation Prepared for Ebolai
X
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
x
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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs