News / Africa

South Sudan Steps Up Guard Against Ebola

Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014
Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi

Health officials in Juba have stepped up efforts to ensure the deadly Ebola virus does not spread to South Sudan.

Armed with thermometers and notepads, a team of health officials has set up shop in tents that have been pitched just meters away from where planes land at Juba’s busy international airport.

Whenever a traveler disembarks, "We give him this form to fill in with his name, nationality, airport of departure," Frederick Ladu, a public health official  from  the Central Equatoria Ministry of Health, told South Sudan in Focus.

Then, the officials use a non-contact, infrared thermometer to check the temperature of arriving passengers. If a passenger is found to have a fever, he or she will be held by the health officials. So far, no one entering South Sudan has been quarantined because they are suspected of having Ebola.

Ladu is one of 20 South Sudanese officials trained by the World Health Organization (WHO) to screen for Ebola at the airport.

The officials gather information including which countries the incoming passengers have visited in the last 21 days. That information is needed because the Ebola outbreak has impacted the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and, the WHO says, a small number of people in Nigeria.

How effective are airport screenings?

The authorities in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are already checking departing passengers for signs of fever or illness.

But WHO medical officer Abdinasir Abubakar noted that  screening someone for fever at the airport is not a 100 percent sure way of detecting Ebola.

"A patient may contract Ebola yesterday and then they fly today to Juba, and when they come to the airport, they may not show any symptoms," he said.

"But after three weeks, they may show symptoms," he added.

But airport screenings are important, Abubakar said. International travel can help to spread ebola and countries need to be prepared, he said.

“We have seen the trend of how the outbreak has spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone, to Liberia and what was interesting is Nigeria, and how only one patient has travelled to Nigeria and he has infected a number of people," Abubakar said.

South Sudan sets up task force

Ebola has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.

Those at greatest risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.

South Sudan has set up an ebola task force, led by Vice President James Wani Igga, to try to keep the country Ebola-free. The Ministry of Health has prepared isolation wards at both Juba Teaching Hospital and at one of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camps in the capital, in case the disease manages to slip into the country.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More